Deutsche Bank, Citigroup And ANZ Face Cartel Charges On Share Sale

Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup Inc. and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. face criminal charges in Australia for alleged cartel conduct over a A$2.5 billion or $1.9 billion share sale in August 2015.

The charges will relate to trading in ANZ Bank shares following the institutional placement for the Melbourne-based lender, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a statement Friday.

The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions (CDPP) advised ANZ it intends to commence proceedings against the bank for being knowingly concerned in alleged cartel conduct by the joint lead managers of ANZ's underwritten Institutional Equity Placement of about 80.8 million shares in August 2015.

The proceedings relate to an arrangement or understanding allegedly made between the joint lead managers in relation to the supply of ANZ shares. ANZ said the CDPP also intends to bring proceedings against ANZ Group Treasurer Rick Moscati.

ANZ Chief Risk Officer Kevin Corbally said, "We believe ANZ acted in accordance with the law in relation to the placement and on that basis the bank intends to defend both the company and our employee."

ANZ is also co-operating with an investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) in relation to the placement.

ASIC is investigating whether ANZ's announcement of 7 August 2015 should have stated the joint lead managers took up approximately 25.5 million shares of the placement. This represented approximately 0.91% of total shares on issue at thattime.

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