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Deutsche Bank mulls merger scenario with UBS - Handelsblatt

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Deutsche Bank mulls merger scenario with UBS - Handelsblatt
FILE PHOTO: Christian Sewing, new CEO of Germany's Deutsche Bank, speaks during the bank's annual meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo   -   Copyright  Kai Pfaffenbach(Reuters)
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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Deutsche Bank <DBKGn.DE> has looked at a theoretical scenario of merging with UBS <UBSG.S>, the German business daily Handelsblatt reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The scenario, along with a potential merger with Commerzbank <CBKG.DE>, was discussed at the bank’s strategy meeting with the supervisory board earlier this month, Handelsblatt said.

On paper, a potential merger with UBS fares better than a deal with Commerzbank as Deutsche Bank and the Swiss lender would complement each other well in the areas of investment banking and wealth management, the report said.

A merger with Commerzbank, in contrast, might lead to high restructuring costs due to large overlap, the paper said.

Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the report on Wednesday.

Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Christian Sewing on Monday dampened speculation of a possible merger, saying the bank must focus on its homework for the next 18 months.

Executives of Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank are increasingly open to the idea of a merger, German news magazine Der Spiegel reported earlier this month.

The German government, which owns more than 15 percent of Commerzbank, has stoked merger speculation.

Olaf Scholz, the nation’s finance minister, has said that Germany needs strong banks to foster exports. Some bankers privately regard that as a shift in sentiment and hints at a willingness to back the financial industry through policies like engineering a merger.

Under the merger scenario with UBS, Deutsche would be the junior partner, and the German government would have to accept that, the paper said.

(Reporting by Christoph Steitz and Tom Sims)

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