Deutsche Boerse chief executive Carsten Kengeter has asked the media and shareholders to “bear with me” as he is investigated over alleged insider trading.
Speaking at a media conference after the German company’s full-year results, Kengeter also said the investigation by Frankfurt’s Public Prosecutor’s Office has “affected me personally very much”.
“Insider trading is against my innermost conviction,” he said, pointing out that the December 2015 share purchase was part of a remuneration programme and was publicised immediately.
The authorities searched Kengeter’s office and apartment in Frankfurt earlier this month.
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They are investigating the suspicion that Kengeter bought 60,000 shares worth around €4.5m (£3.8m) on 14 December 2015 after merger talks between Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange had begun.
Deutsche Boerse’s board has given its backing to Kengeter.
Facing questions from the media on the claims, and details of the remuneration programme, Kengeter added:
Believe you me, I would like to talk about these issues, and it’s not possible to address the questions you have during ongoing investigations. We cannot answer such questions, it isn’t advisable, legally speaking.