Deutsche Bank chief dismisses takeover speculation

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) is not at risk of a takeover, its chief executive told a German weekly paper after its shares fell to a record low in the wake of a two-day raid related to money laundering allegations.

Speculation about a possible merger has continued despite the bank’s dismissal in September of reports that it could consider tie-ups with Switzerland’s UBS (UBSG.S) or German peer Commerzbank (CBKG.DE).

“I don’t have any indication of that,” Christian Sewing told Bild am Sonntag. “We are on track to make our first profit for three years. It is only a matter of time before this progress is reflected in the share price.”

Sewing’s remarks followed the two-day raid as part of an investigation linked to the so-called Panama Papers leak of documents about offshore finance.

Police searched the offices of all the bank’s board members, Sewing said.

“But that is okay, I don’t have a problem with that. I want this matter to be cleared up as soon as possible,” he told the newspaper.

Investigators are looking at the activities of unidentified Deutsche Bank employees alleged to have helped clients to set up offshore firms to launder money, the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office said.

“It’s about two employees who, at the time, helped to work through everything surrounding the issue of the Panama Papers. In my view the presumption of innocence clearly applies until proven otherwise,” Sewing told the paper.

“Since the publication of the Panama Papers in 2016 we have reviewed the whole issue and, in doing so, cooperated closely with the regulatory authorities. For us the case was concluded.”

Asked whether he had made any mistakes, Sewing said: “I am at peace with myself and I am doing my job as well as I can.

“Of course, I would never say that I’m not making mistakes. But if I do, I correct them as quickly as possible.”

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker from Reuters

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