Newswire

German watchdog starts routine probe into allegations against Grammer

FRANKFURT, May 19 (Reuters) - German financial watchdog Bafin will launch a routine investigation of market manipulation allegations against auto supplier Grammer, a spokeswoman for Bafin said in an e-mailed statement on Friday.

Grammer's biggest shareholder, Bosnia's Hastor family, had on Thursday accused the company of artificially depressing its own share price to allow a rival investor, China's Ningbo Jifeng , to build a stake.

"As is routine, we will look at that in terms of possible market manipulation," the Bafin spokeswoman said when asked about the Hastor allegations.

A Nuremberg court separately said on Friday it had lifted a temporary injunction on the exercise of a convertible bond, allowing Grammer to issue shares to Ningbo Jifeng.

Grammer management brought Ningbo Jifeng on board as a "white knight" against the Hastor family, which owns a stake of at least 20 percent in Grammer and has criticised Grammer's management. (Reporting by Edward Taylor; Additional reporting by Jens Hack; Writing by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Victoria Bryan)