Deutsche Boerse seeks settlement in CEO insider trading probe

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-14 20:54:50|Editor: Zhou Xin
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BERLIN, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Deutsche Boerse AG has announced it will accept a settlement offer to end the Frankfurt state prosecutor's probe into suspected insider trading by its chief executive officer Carsten Kengeter.

The Frankfurt-based stock exchange operator said in a statement on Wednesday night that it would pay a penalty of 10.5 million euros (12.5 million U.S. dollars). Five million euros of the settlement is to end a long-standing probe into insider trading, and 5.5 million euros is the penalty fee for allegedly failing to disclose market sensitive information before announcing its failed merger with the London Stock Exchange Group (LSE) in 2016.

However, the Frankfurt state prosecutor told Xinhua on Thursday that it had not received a settlement offer from Deutsche Boerse, saying the deadline for a written submission was Friday.

Kengeter was targeted by German authorities for suspicious share purchases shortly before formal work on the potential merger of the two stock exchanges began. He has consistently denied any wrong-doing.

The incident has placed heavy strain on Deutsche Boerse's reputation, adding to its woes after the United Kingdom's Brexit decision and subsequent the refusal of European Union competition authorities to grant approval of the LSE merger dealt two ultimately fatal blows to its plans with LSE.

Deutsche Boerse said in its statement that the "decision to accept the fines was made for the purpose of protecting the overriding interests of the company."

"By doing so, Deutsche Boerse AG aims to ensure that the company can re-focus as quickly as possible on managing the business and leave behind the serious burdens placed on it by the investigation proceedings," the stock exchange operator added.

Deutsche Boerse said it "assumes" that the probe into Kengeter would be closed as a consequence.

According to reports, the renewal of Kengeter's contract, which is due to expire in March 2018, has been stalled by the charges filed against him.