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Insider trading allegations at Deutsche Borse could complicate LSE merger

Neil Hodge | February 22, 2017

If there is one person that should never be accused of insider dealing, it is the head of a stock exchange. But that is exactly what has happened in Germany.

On 1 February, German prosecutors raided the Frankfurt apartment of Deutsche Borse Chief Executive Carsten Kengeter and the company’s head offices amid a probe into suspected insider share dealing ahead of the group’s planned merger with the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

The Frankfurt prosecutor’s inquiry centres on Kengeter’s purchase of Deutsche Borse shares worth about €4.5m on 14 December 2015. The transaction was straightforward—but the timing of it may not be. Just two months later, on 23 February 2016, Deutsche Borse and the LSE unveiled their merger plans, an announcement that boosted the company share price by 11 percent. As such, Kengeter’s shares purchase looks suspiciously fortuitous enough for prosecutors to probe the possibility that there may have been some kind of “sounding out” about a merger...

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