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Deutsche Boerse’s Iran Fine From U.S. Is Half Estimate

Deutsche Boerse sign at the Frankfurt Stock Exchange
A Deutsche Boerse AG sign sits illuminated outside the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in Frankfurt. Photographer: Ralph Orlowski/Bloomberg

Deutsche Boerse AG said the fine its Clearstream unit faces from U.S. government allegations that it violated sanctions against Iran may be half the previously disclosed amount.

The penalty totals $169 million, or only $152 million if the Frankfurt-based company settles with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, Deutsche Boerse said in a statement yesterday. In January, Deutsche Boerse said it might have to pay $340 million.

The Treasury investigation, which Deutsche Boerse said has concluded, centered on securities transfers within the Clearstream system in 2008, following the company’s decision in 2007 to close Iranian customers’ accounts. The company started talks on a deal with the U.S. Treasury in 2008, the Frankfurt-based exchange said earlier this year.

Treasury spokesman John Sullivan declined to comment.

Standard Chartered Plc agreed to pay $327 million in fines in December, including $132 million to OFAC, after regulators said it violated U.S. sanctions with Iran. The British bank was accused of helping Iran launder about $250 billion in violation of federal laws, keeping false records and handling wire transfers for Iranian clients.

“A settlement with OFAC would not constitute a final determination that a violation has occurred,” Deutsche Boerse said in yesterday’s statement. The exchange operator will now decide whether to settle with U.S. regulators, it said. The fine will be included as a provision in the company’s third-quarter filing.

Deutsche Boerse shares slid 1.83 euros, or 3.2 percent, to 55.57 euros at 9:22 a.m. in Frankfurt today, the biggest drop in 11 weeks.

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