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Wirecard shares plunge as Dubai-based partner shuts shop

FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Wirecard AG, an independent provider of outsourcing and white label solutions for electronic payment transactions is seen in Aschheim near Munich, Germany April 25, 2019. REUTERS/Michael Dalder

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Shares in Wirecard WDIG.DE fell to more than two-year lows on Friday after a Dubai-based business partner closed its doors even as the German payments company played down the impact on operations.

The shares dropped after a tweet pointed to a May 11 liquidation notice in the newspaper Gulf Today by Al Alam Solution Provider FZ based in Dubai. A newspaper employee confirmed the publication of the notice in its print edition.

Al Alam was one of Wirecard's routing partners for payment transactions. bit.ly/368ZOpR

A Wirecard spokeswoman said the company was aware of the company’s closure and said it would not affect its ability to handle transactions as it has reduced its reliance on third-party partners.

The move comes after allegations by the Financial Times of accounting irregularities and disclosure violations by Wirecard, some of which involve foreign subsidiaries and third-party business partners.

Wirecard has repeatedly denied allegations. Al Alam was one of the companies named by the FT as a third-party business partner.

Al Alam “is reacting to the damage to its reputation caused by the public questioning of its integrity,” the Wirecard spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.

Al Alam did not respond to requests for comments by phone and email outside of normal business hours.

Shares closed 7.6% lower, the biggest faller on Germany's blue-chip DAX 30 .GDAXI index.

Reporting by Tom Sims, Hans Seidenstuecker, and Christina Amann in FRANKFURT, Michelle Martin in BERLIN and Thyagaraju Adinarayan in LONDON; Editing by Josephine Mason

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