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Report: German regulator reviews Geely chairman's Daimler stake disclosures

Germany's top financial regulator Bafin is investigating whether Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. Ltd. Chairman Li Shufu violated disclosure rules in his roughly $9 billion investment in Daimler AG, the parent company of luxury auto brand Mercedes-Benz, Reuters reported, citing a letter from the German finance ministry.

Bafin said Li should have disclosed the acquisition of a nearly 10% stake in Daimler Feb. 22 rather than Feb. 23. Li acquired the shares through banks, including Morgan Stanley, shell companies and derivatives.

The German regulator has asked Morgan Stanley to correct a disclosure filing in relation to the transactions. Germany requires investors to report when their stakes in companies exceed 3%, 5% and 10%.

Bafin and Morgan Stanley declined to comment on the report. Geely said it informed markets in a timely fashion, adding that the additional disclosure for Feb. 22 was based on a new interpretation of legal provisions by Bafin which was released May 9. “The capital market was at all times informed about the correct number of voting rights,” Geely said in a statement.

China-based Geely manufactures and markets automobiles. Its portfolio consists of approximately 30 vehicle models.