Citigroup, Deutsche Banks & ANZ to Stand Trial in Australia
Citigroup, Deutsche Bank AG Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, as well as six of the firms' former staff have been committed for trial in Australia Tuesday, after pleading not guilty to colluding during a share issue.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) brought charges against the financial giants, their client and their former executives, accusing them of colluding to keep stock they were trying to sell to stop the price falling.
With the pleas of not guilty, the matter is finally scheduled to go to trial in the Federal Court - five years since the A$2.5 billion ($1.8 billion) stock issue for ANZ took place.
Citi denied the allegations, Deutsche Bank said it would defend the charges, while ANZ declined to comment.
Financial market participants are watching the case with bated breath, as the outcome could influence the whole structure of capital raising.
For companies, each criminal cartel charge could mean a fine of up to A$10 million or three times the amount the company benefited from the actions. Individuals, in turn, could face up to 10 years of imprisonment, fines of up to A$420,000, or both.
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