UPDATE 1-Denmark investigates Danske Bank over price manipulation

Fri Feb 7, 2014 12:00pm EST

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COPENHAGEN Feb 7 (Reuters) - Denmark's public prosecutor for serious economic and international crime is investigating Danske Bank over alleged price manipulation, the bank said on Friday.

In its statement Danske Bank said it was investigating four employees from the banking operation and Danske's Realkredit Danmark mortgage unit over alleged violation of internal rules and price manipulation.

When the bank found out it told the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority, which handed the case over to the public prosecutor, the bank said.

"We consider the matter to be very serious and are cooperating fully with the authorities," Chief Executive Thomas Borgen said in Friday's announcement.

The bank did not name the four Danske employees and their two superiors, who it said have been suspended. The bank said it had found no evidence that other staff were involved in the transactions being investigated.

One of the allegations covers transactions in February and March 2009 involving the mortgage bonds CIBOR Extra-CIBOR38.

The public prosecutor's office confirmed it had launched an inquiry, saying one of the transactions had changed the price of the bond to an artificial level.

Police later said the bank could face fines if the price manipulation allegations were found to be true. A Danske spokesman said the bank would not comment beyond its statement for now. ($1 = 5.4871 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Teis Jensen, additional reporting by Stine Jacobsen and Ole Mikkelsen; Editing by Jon Boyle)

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