Wirecard Jumps Most in Week as CEO Unfazed by Zatarra Report

  • German payments processor rises as much as 8.9% in Frankfurt
  • Regulator investigating Feb. 24 stock plunge for manipulation

Wirecard AG had its biggest jump in a week in Frankfurt after its chief executive officer said a report from a short seller that had accused senior management of wrongdoing isn’t hurting the company’s business.

Wirecard surged as much as 8.9 percent after CEO Markus Braun said he sees no impact on the company’s operational business from a report by Zatarra Research, which on Feb. 24 caused Wirecard shares to fall as much as 25 percent.

"Wirecard started very well into 2016 and the operating business is going excellently,” Braun said in a phone interview, declining to further comment on the report, which accused Wirecard senior management and board members of money laundering and facilitating the evasion of U.S. restrictions on Internet gambling.

Germany’s BaFin stock market regulator has started investigating last week’s share move because of possible market manipulation, a spokeswoman for the agency said Wednesday. Wirecard last week denied the allegations and called the report “slanderous.” Zatarra’s website didn’t identify the individuals behind the report.

Wirecard is on the lookout for more mergers and acquisitions, especially in South America and other emerging markets, and expects to enter the U.S. market in the next 12 to 18 months, Braun said. He called the company’s 2016 earnings forecast "conservative,” without elaborating further.

Wirecard rose 4.6 percent to 38.40 euros as of 3:42 p.m. local time.

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