U.S. Markets

German market regulator lifts short sale ban on Wirecard

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions is seen in Aschheim near Munich, Germany September 6, 2018. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Germany’s markets regulator Bafin on Friday said its two-month ban on short-selling shares of payments company Wirecard had expired.

In February, Bafin initiated the ban due to volatility in Wirecard’s stock following reports in the Financial Times that became the subject of an investigation by German authorities.

Wirecard has denied wrongdoing and the FT has stood by its reporting.

The short-selling ban “has now expired”, Bafin said in a statement, without elaborating further. Short-selling is when an investor borrows shares to sell in the hope of being able to buy them back later at a lower price.

Earlier this week, Bafin filed a complaint with the Munich Prosecutor’s Office alleging market manipulation in the shares of Wirecard.

A series of reports run by the FT, citing a whistleblower’s claims of fraud and creative accounting at its Singapore office, have wiped billions off Wirecard’s market value and triggered a police investigation in the Asian state.

Reporting by Tom Sims, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien