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World BaFin employees traded more in Wirecard shares before bankruptcy

19:56  13 august  2020
19:56  13 august  2020 Source:   de.reuters.com

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Frankfurt (Reuters) - Employees of the financial supervisory authority BaFin traded in the months before the Wirecard bankruptcy reinforced with papers from the payment provider.

In the first half of 2020, 2.4 percent of all reported private financial transactions by BaFin employees were transactions with Wirecard shares or share derivatives, according to Reuters replies from the Federal Ministry of Finance on Thursday to a catalog of questions from the Greens. In 2018 as a whole, the share was only 1.2 percent, in 2019 1.7 percent. Finance Minister Olaf Scholz (SPD) and the financial supervisory authority that reports to him, BaFin, have been criticized for the Wirecard scandal.

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The BaFin explained the increase in trade in Wirecard papers with the higher fluctuations in the share price due to media coverage and ad hoc reports from the company, according to the answer from the Federal Ministry of Finance. The increased Wirecard share transactions by BaFin employees are "not unusual or not conspicuous" compared to other Dax values, for which the volatility had increased.

According to the Ministry of Finance, around 20 percent of BaFin employees reported private financial transactions in 2019 and in the first half of 2020. They were all approved by the line managers. This confirmed that there was no knowledge of inside information about private financial transactions.

In the first half of 2020, based on the company's equity derivative transactions, 58 percent were acquisitions and 42 percent were sales. The extent to which BaFin employees have bet on exchange rate losses through short sales cannot be determined. No information is available on this.

Wirecard had to file for bankruptcy at the end of June. The investigators accuse the former CEO Markus Braun and other managers of having inflated the payment provider's total assets and sales through sham deals at least since the end of 2015. On this basis, banks and other investors would have provided a total of 3.2 billion euros. The money is likely to be lost. Wirecard, which was only promoted to the Dax in September 2018, will be out of the German leading index in August. The share, which was once listed at almost 200 euros, fell eleven percent on Thursday to 1.43 euros.

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