Why are Singaporeans so tame

Markus Braun is a man of calm. The CEO of the payment service provider Wirecard speaks slowly, deliberately, pauses between his sentences and likes to think a little longer. But than the Financial Times (FT) reported in three articles a few weeks ago about a potential financial scandal at Wirecard in Singapore, the calm in Aschheim near Munich, the headquarters of the group, was over.

The first sharp response from Wirecard followed promptly: The FT author Dan McCrum had "published a false, inaccurate, misleading and defamatory article. This article has no substance and is completely meaningless," it said clearly. The two articles that the British newspaper published in the days that followed were followed by further denials: false, baseless, untrue. "Nothing in the article published today is true," says a spokeswoman, or: "We will examine all legal means to defend Wirecard against false and defamatory allegations." It should be clear: we are clean, the FT is wrong.

Wirecard received additional protection from the financial supervisory authority Bafin

As hard as Wirecard handed out and rejected the reports, the CEO and largest single shareholder Braun now has to backtrack. In an interview with the FAZ he no longer speaks of a possible lawsuit against the FT for false reporting. Instead, Braun wonders whether the article was appropriate and that it is examining whether it is possible to "take action against the defamation of employees". Reasonable. Check. That is a rather cautious choice of words after the violent denials and allegations that Wirecard had made against the FT. But why Braun suddenly acts so tame remains unclear. The report that Wirecard had commissioned from a law firm would in any case be positive, he said. There was nothing wrong with the allegations that he stayed, a major accounting scandal is ruled out, according to Braun. As soon as the lawyers have finished the report, Wirecard will go public with it.

There is great hope at the Aschheim-based company that the report will actually bring calm to the company. Since the Financial Times first reported on the possible accounting scandal, the share price has fluctuated very strongly, and the company has appeared in the media all the time. The financial regulator Bafin was even forced to prohibit investors from short selling the shares. Investors borrow the stock, sell it and buy it back when the price has fallen. You're betting on a price crash. The Bafin prohibited this in a one-off step and at least gave Wirecard a little peace of mind.