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Deutsche Bank eyeing acquisition opportunities - CFO

Source: Reuters - Thu 1st Oct 2009

Deutsche Bank is "looking at quite a few opportunities" for acquisitions, its chief financial officer said on Thursday, and the bank could even be prepared to raise capital for the right target.

The remarks provide the clearest signal yet that Germany's largest bank is preparing to take advantage of a landscape in which many rivals have been weakened.

Speaking at a webcast investor conference in London, Krause said Deutsche was examining opportunities and that Chief Executive Josef Ackermann had given guidelines for making potential acquisitions.

Ackermann has told the board, "Don't buy distressed assets, buy from distressed investors" Krause said, adding that Luxemburg-based Sal. Oppenheim was such a target. Deutsche Bank is in talks to take a stake in the wealth manager.

If Deutsche found a suitable target, it could then consider a capital hike "as we did for Postbank", Krause said.

Deutsche Bank owns nearly 30 percent in Deutsche Postbank and under a deal finalised in January it has the option to buy it outright in a few years.

Krause said the bank was "very well prepared" for new capital ratio requirements. He said he saw "no need for substantial recapitalisation of the bank" given that its Tier 1 capital ratio hit 11 percent at the end of the second quarter.

Despite a shrinking of the securitisation business, which has changed the way banks make money from trading debt products, Krause said the investment banking business at Deutsche had "rebounded nicely, and will continue to".  

He said he anticipated that the asset and wealth management businesses, which made losses in the first and second quarters, would return to profitability in the third and fourth.

In the bank's private wealth management business the potential acquisition of Sal. Oppenheim could give Deutsche access to high-end customers and family offices "that we might not have had access to with the Deutsche brand".

As markets recover and as rivals struggle, Deutsche expects to be able to "bank on brand value in the future" to be a "significant gainer after the crisis", Krause said.

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