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Deutsche Boerse gets offer from U.S. to settle Iran case

Traders work at their desks at the Frankfurt stock exchange February 1, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski
Traders work at their desks at the Frankfurt stock exchange February 1, 2012. REUTERS/Alex Domanski

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German exchange operator Deutsche Boerse said on Monday it had received an offer from the United States to settle an investigation into the possible violation of U.S. sanctions against Iran for $152 million.

The United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has notified Deutsche Boerse's Clearstream unit that it has closed its investigation, Deutsche Boerse said, after the division had been accused of violating economic sanctions against Iran in 2008.

If OFAC was to issue a so-called "pre-penalty notice" it would include a penalty of $169 million, which would be reduced by 10 percent if the German company was willing to settle the matter, Deutsche Boerse said.

"Deutsche Boerse Group will analyze the information received and will decide on whether to reach a settlement with OFAC," Deutsche Boerse said.

"A settlement with OFAC would not constitute a final determination that a violation has occurred," it said.

Deutsche Boerse will include an amount consistent with today's notification from OFAC as a provision in its third-quarter earnings, it said. The company plans to publish results on Tuesday after stock markets in Germany close.

The amount given on Monday is less than half of what OFAC had indicated before, as Deutsche Boerse said in January it could face a so-called pre-penalty notice for about $340 million.

(Reporting by Peter Dinkloh; Editing by David Evans)

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