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Deutsche Boerse Falls as U.S. Probes Clearstream Banking

Deutsche Boerse AG dropped the most in two weeks after saying a U.S. grand jury is probing its Clearstream Banking SA unit for possible money laundering and other violations.

Shares of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange owner fell 2.3 percent to 56.50 euros at 12:12 p.m. in Germany after earlier losing as much as 3.2 percent. The nation’s benchmark DAX Index rose 0.3 percent.

The U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York has opened a criminal investigation into Clearstream related to violations of money laundering laws and Iran sanctions, according to a statement today. Clearstream, a Deutsche Boerse unit based in Luxembourg, is cooperating with the investigation, which is in a “very early stage,” the exchange said.

“Conclusion: an unwelcome surprise that could cause uncertainty around the shares and could result in another fine,” Peter Lenardos, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets, wrote in a note. He has a sector perform rating on the stock, the equivalent of a hold.

Clearstream agreed in January to pay $152 million to settle civil claims that it violated U.S. economic sanctions on Iran. The bank used an account at an unidentified U.S. financial firm to hold $2.81 billion in securities on behalf of the Central Bank of Iran, according to the Treasury Department. The accord didn’t bar the U.S. from prosecuting the bank, according to the agreement.

The case is Peterson v. Islamic Republic of Iran, 10-cv-04518, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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