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Credit Suisse's German offices searched in insider trading probe

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[March 17, 2014]  FRANKFURT (Reuters) — Credit Suisse's <CSGN.VX> headquarters in Germany was one of the offices raided by German authorities last month as part of an investigation into insider trading, a spokeswoman for the state prosecutor's office in Stuttgart said.

The German weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche reported on its website on Saturday that Credit Suisse's offices were one of the targets of a raid on about 50 homes and offices by police and the German securities trading regulator BaFIN on February 25.

In response to a Reuters query, the spokeswoman said on Saturday that the German headquarters of the Swiss bank was one of those raided but that the bank itself was not one of the accused.

She declined to say who were the accused and confirmed the investigation was about insider trading in shares in German solar maker Roth & Rau <R8RG.F>, which was acquired by its Swiss rival Meyer-Burger <MBTN.S> in 2011. Roth & Rau was advised at that time by Credit Suisse.

Credit Suisse declined comment. Meyer-Burger was not immediately available for comment.

WirtschaftsWoche, without citing sources, reported that authorities were investigating a Credit Suisse employee for insider trading in connection with the Roth & Rau deal.

The magazine said the employee had been suspended by Credit Suisse on the day the raid was conducted.

Police said in February they had seized documents, mobile phones, computers and electronic storage media in Switzerland and eight German states, with a particular focus on Hesse, home to Germany's financial capital Frankfurt, during a raid that was connected to insider trading investigations.

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WirtschaftsWoche said just before Meyer-Burger made a 22 euros per share offer to its rival, shares in Roth & Rau rose by more than 50 percent.

($1 = 0.7181 Euros)

(Reporting by Hans Seidenstuecker, Alexander Huebner in Frankfurt; additional reporting by Katharina Bart in Zurich; writing by Marilyn Gerlach; editing by Kevin Liffey and Susan Fenton)

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