VIENNA, Oct 7 (Reuters) - An Austrian court has cleared a senior Raiffeisen banker of insider trading charges linked to the 2010 merger that created Raiffeisen Bank International .
Prosecutors had accused Manfred Url, now head of Raiffeisen’s building society, of exploiting knowledge he gained in November 2009 of a potential merger of parent Raiffeisen Zentralbank with its Raiffeisen International arm.
The judge ruled on Monday that Url may have had insider information but he did not deliberately enrich himself with it, a spokesman for the Financial Market Authority (FMA) watchdog said.
Url, who was a top manager at Raiffeisen Zentralbank at the time, sold shares in Raiffeisen International about a week after hearing of the potential deal, earning a profit of around 3,000 euros ($4,100). Months later the merger went through, sending stock in Raiffeisen International lower.
Url had denied wrongdoing and Raiffeisen had insisted that no insider trading could have occurred because it was not clear until after the trade that the merger would actually take place.
A spokeswoman for the Vienna provincial court said the verdict is not yet legally binding because prosecutors and the FMA have three days to file an appeal. ($1 = 0.7355 euros) (Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by David Goodman)