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March 8, 2017

VW investor claims make progress in German court

Some investor claims against Volkswagen have made progress in a German court.

Some investor claims against Volkswagen have made progress in a German court.

Frankfurt-based Deka Investment on Wednesday was named lead plaintiff for 1,470 damages claims totaling EUR1.9bn (US$2bn), according to a Reuters report.

Plaintiffs claim to have incurred losses after VW's share price fell almost 25% after the automaker admitted cheating diesel emissions test cheating in the US.

Plaintiffs also claim Volkswagen should have warned stock markets of the risk earlier.

Reuters said the claims are just 20% in value of investor cases pending at the Braunschweig higher regional court and a small fraction of the legal battles Volkswagen faces worldwide from investors, consumers and regulators.

The claims are being bundled into Germany's closest equivalent to a class-action case, in which one case is picked as representative and the outcome applied to all the others, the report said.

Around 1,540 investor cases are pending at the court with a total claims volume of EUR8.8bn. A court spokesman told Reuters most of the others were from foreign institutional investors.

The decision invokes a cut-off of sorts. While other existing plaintiffs can apply to join the test case proceedings for the next six months, new plaintiffs cannot join.

The court said it would set a date for a first hearing within the next three months, Reuters added.

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