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Deutsche Bank to unveil German equity fund details

Source: Reuters - Thu 21st Jan 2010

Deutsche Bank is poised to unveil details of a 300 million euros equity capital fund for Germany's small to medium sized enterprises in the next fortnight, board member Juergen Fitschen told Reuters.

Details of the fund, which was initially proposed by Chief Executive Josef Ackermann in December, will be presented within days.

"In the next two weeks we will inform the public about it" Fitschen said on the sidelines of an event late Tuesday, adding that the fund, designed to help the so-called Mittelstand companies, is open for other lenders to contribute.

"We are hopeful to find other participants in the coming weeks" Fitschen said, adding that the fund will be up and running in the first quarter of 2010.

Deutsche Bank will contribute 300 million euros to the fund, Fitschen said.

Money from the pot could be used to contribute mezzanine finance to struggling midsized German companies, thereby bolstering their capital positions and credit ratings - a factor that could improve banks' ability to grant loans.

Weakening credit ratings could also force lenders to markdown the loans on their books, hurting profits and straining their balance sheets.

In December Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Josef Ackermann proposed creating such a fund to prop up the credit ratings of the Mittelstand, a move that would help them get loans in the economic crisis.

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