Top investors to back Deutsche Bank despite uncertain future

Thu Mar 9, 2017 11:34am EST
 
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By John O'Donnell and Arno Schuetze

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank's top three investors, who together own almost 20 percent of its stock, are likely to back its latest capital hike, people familiar with the matter said, although smaller shareholders are skeptical about its turnaround plan.

John Cryan, Deutsche's DBKGn.DE CEO, is likely to be able to count on the support of U.S. fund manager Blackrock, a group of Qatari investors and China's HNA Group, people familiar with their thinking said. All three declined to comment.

Cryan sought to persuade shareholders this week to spend 8 billion euros ($8.5 billion) to back another revamp, putting the bank on course to have raised more than its 26 billion euro market value in the past seven years.

The writing has long been on the wall for investors that Deutsche Bank would seek fresh cash, but it puts them in an awkward position. If they do not take up their rights to buy further shares, their holding shrinks, eroding their influence.

However, as far back as October, funds controlled by Qatar's former Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, which own the largest stake in Deutsche Bank with nearly 10 percent, have been willing to buy further shares, sources familiar with their policy told Reuters at the time.

That stance has not changed since and an official in Sheikh Hamad's office confirmed that the former prime minister had met with Deutsche Bank in recent weeks, but declined to comment.

Although low energy prices have pressured Qatar, the world's top liquefied natural gas exporter, its investors continue to buy assets around the world.

Meanwhile, China's HNA Group, which has been on an acquisition spree that has seen it expand from its traditional business of aviation and logistics into overseas financial services, owns three percent and is also set to take part, a person familiar with its thinking said.   Continued...

 
FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Germany's Deutsche Bank are seen in Frankfurt, Germany, January 31, 2017. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo