BERLIN, July 22 (Xinhua) -- The German payment provider Wirecard is accusing the British newspaper Financial Times (FT) of collaborating with short sellers.
In a letter by the law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, Wirecard is claiming to have obtained "irrefutable evidence of collaboration between Financial Times employees and short sellers", according to a report published by the German newspaper Handelsblatt on Sunday.
The Financial Times should "refrain from any publication that could lead directly or indirectly to market manipulation or insider trading in connection with Wirecard shares", the letter obtained by Handelsblatt read.
"There were no secret arrangements between FT journalists and short sellers or other third parties regarding the content or timing of FT articles about Wirecard," a spokeswoman of the British newspaper said.
Following critical Financial Times reports about alleged fraud and money laundering at Wirecard's office in Singapore in January, shares of the German payment immediately came under enormous pressure and fell significantly.
Shortly afterwards, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) prohibited the establishment of new short positions against Wirecard as well as increasing existing short positions on shares of the German payment provider.
Wirecard's allegations against the Financial Times are based on a recent sound recording of a British business man called Nick X. who told a confidant about a "pending critical article by FT". On the recording, Nick X. is claiming that he already acquired a short position against Wirecard amounting to 5 million British pounds.
According to the Handelsblatt report, Nick X. suggested to his confidant to join the speculation against Wirecard and demanded half of his partner's profits in return for the tip. In addition, Nick X. claimed to have already speculated "successfully and multiple times" against Wirecard based on imminent articles by FT about the German payment provider.
Neither Wirecard nor the investor who initiated the recording wanted to comment on the allegations against FT, while Nick X. would "not have been available for a statement", the German business newspaper reported.