Wirecard Value Passes Deutsche Bank Again After SoftBank Investment

(Bloomberg) -- Wirecard AG, the German digital finance firm, is once again worth more than the country’s biggest bank after attracting a $1 billion investment from tech conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.

Wirecard’s market value surged to 16.6 billion euros ($18.7 billion) at 1:31 p.m. in Frankfurt on Wednesday after SoftBank disclosed the investment. Deutsche Bank AG, which is in merger discussions with rival Commerzbank AG, is worth 15.8 billion euros. The last time Wirecard’s market cap pushed above Deutsche Bank’s was last month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Wirecard Value Passes Deutsche Bank Again After SoftBank Investment

Wirecard, which makes technology that helps businesses process payments online and via mobile devices, has been expanding aggressively, buying other companies in the payments industry and pushing into Asian markets. The 20-year-old company’s shares are up about 23 percent in the last 12 months even after a series of reports published by the Financial Times this year alleged accounting fraud at the company’s Singapore operations.

Wirecard has acknowledged accounting oversights at the local office and the executive at the center of the allegations has left the company. The firm said an internal investigation showed no criminal liability at its headquarters.

Deutsche Bank, which has been stuck in what its finance chief has called a “vicious circle” of declining revenue, sticky expenses, a lowered credit rating and rising funding costs, is trying to extricate itself by merging with Commerzbank, though that deal is looking increasingly difficult to pull off, people familiar with the matter have said. The company’s shares have declined about 37 percent in the last 12 months.

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