German financial markets regulator BaFin has started an investigation into possible market manipulation by Porsche linked to its attempt to take over Volkswagen, it was reported on Tuesday.

According to a Reuters report, the case centres on a report by WirtschaftsWoche magazine last week that alleged Porsche had revealed in February 2008 its intentions to take a 75% voting stake in VW and pass a domination and profit transfer agreement, but did not make this public at the time. Porsche subsequently denied the report.

"The accusation that we had misled investors is incorrect. Porsche decided on 3 March, 2008, to acquire the majority of voting shares in VW. There was no intention at that time for Porsche to raise its stake to 75% of the votes," Porsche said in a statement last Friday.