German watchdog starts routine probe into allegations against Grammer


German financial watchdog Bafin will launch a routine investigation of market manipulation allegations against auto supplier Grammer, a spokeswoman for Bafin said in an e-mailed statement on Friday.

Grammer's biggest shareholder, Bosnia's Hastor family, had on Thursday accused the company of artificially depressing its own share price to allow a rival investor, China's Ningbo Jifeng, to build a stake.

“As is routine, we will look at that in terms of possible market manipulation,” the Bafin spokeswoman said when asked about the Hastor allegations.

A Nuremberg court separately said on Friday it had lifted a temporary injunction on the exercise of a convertible bond, allowing Grammer to issue shares to Ningbo Jifeng.

Grammer management brought Ningbo Jifeng on board as a “white knight” against the Hastor family, which owns a stake of at least 20 percent in Grammer and has criticized Grammer's management.