Deutsche Bank shares rise on reports of layoff plans

File picture shows the Deutsche Bank logo in front of its headquarters in Frankfurt, February 24, 2011. — Reuters pic
File picture shows the Deutsche Bank logo in front of its headquarters in Frankfurt, February 24, 2011. — Reuters pic

FRANKFURT, July 1 — Shares in Germany’s biggest lender Deutsche Bank rose today, as investors reacted to multiple press reports the financial firm plans thousands of layoffs in its battle to escape a years-long malaise.

By 1.15 pm in Frankfurt (1115 GMT), Deutsche stock had added 1.6 per cent at €6.89 euros (RM32.30), against a DAX index of blue-chip German shares up 1.2 per cent.

Deutsche is doing “better than other European banks on Monday,” said MM Warburg analyst Andreas Plaesier, drawing a connection to the hints about its future that have trickled out in recent days.

The lender’s supervisory board could meet as soon as Sunday to decide on the “tough cuts” set to hit the business, daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported today without naming a source.

Chief executive Christian Sewing dangled the prospect of layoffs at Deutsche’s annual general meeting in May.

Several media reported that up to 20,000 jobs could be on the chopping block, out of the total of 91,500 the bank reported in March.

Top of the list for cuts is the investment bank.

Once the flagship division of the group, the 37,000-strong unit has been undermined by scandal for years.

Last year, one-quarter of its stocks trading staff in the US were let go, and a source close to the bank told AFP more such steps could be coming.

Sharp reductions in the payroll were feared earlier this year when Deutsche entered detailed talks on a potential merger with hometown rival Commerzbank but the deal fell through in April.

At the top of the bank, a board reshuffle could also be on the cards according to press reports, with investment banking chief Garth Ritchie reportedly slated to leave.

Away from staffing questions, as Deutsche looks to tidy up its balance sheet it could dispose of up to €50 billion of loans and other assets seen as non-strategic, the Financial Times reported recently.

Deutsche shares had already benefited last Friday from its American division’s success in banking stress tests by the US Federal Reserve, a result hailed by Sewing in a letter to employees.

Looking ahead, the firm will unveil its second-quarter results on July 24. — AFP

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