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Stifel buys Germany's Mainfirst Bank to prepare for Brexit

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FRANKFURT (Reuters) – U.S. investment bank Stifel <SF.N> has agreed to buy Germany’s Mainfirst Bank to build scale in its German and Swiss equity research business and to prepare for Britain’s departure from the European Union, the two firms said in statements on Tuesday.

“Mainfirst carries a full German banking licence, enabling Stifel to continue offering corporate advisory, brokerage, and investment banking services and clear and settle secondary equity and fixed income trades post-Brexit”, they said.

Financial details of the transaction, which is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019, have not been disclosed. Mainfirst Bank has 200 staff, of which 60 are analysts covering European equities.

The deal has no impact on Mainfirst’s asset management unit, which was separated from the brokerage business earlier this year.

While few Brexit-sparked mergers and acquisitions have taken place so far, most investment banks have shifted jobs to the continent to prepare for Britain’s split with the block.

German financial watchdog Bafin said in August that Germany was processing more than 25 banking licences in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union.

(Reporting by Arno Schuetze; Editing by Michelle Martin)

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