Deutsche Bank AG, confirming market rumors and conjecture, said it is in advanced talks with Deutsche Post about taking a stake in Postbank, Germany's biggest consumer retail bank.
Germany's biggest bank by assets also said it signed an agreement with Russia's UFG Asset Management to create a strategic partnership and promote business cooperation in Russia.
In a short statement released late Wednesday, Deutsche Bank "confirms that it is in advanced discussions with Deutsche Post regarding a potential acquisition of a stake in Postbank. The outcome of these discussions is not yet finalized."
However in Madrid, Spain's Banco Santander, the euro zone's largest bank by market capitalization, said Thursday that it has also approached Deutsche Post about holding talks on buying its controlling stake in Postbank.
In a notice filed with Spanish market regulators, Banco Santander said it would be interested in eventually acquiring 100 percent of Postbank's share capital.
Deutsche Post, which holds a majority stake of just more than 50 percent, has been shopping Postbank around to potential buyers since earlier this year.
In July, Postbank said that write-downs on investments of euro143 million ($201.5 million) helped pull its second-quarter results down 21 percent from last year to euro119 million ($167.7 million) compared with euro151 million a year ago.
So far, Postbank's exposure to such write-downs has been just under euro430 million ($606 million), far less than bigger rivals who have reported massive losses.
If Deutsche Bank does take a major stake in Postbank, it would be the second such move in Germany's banking sector in weeks.
Last month, insurer Allianz SE agreed to sell Dresdner Bank AG to Commerzbank AG in a euro9.8 billion ($13.81 billion) deal that will create Germany's biggest bank in terms of customers, propelling it ahead of Deutsche Bank.
However, the combined bank's assets will still fall shy of Frankfurt-based Deutsche Bank's approximately euro2 trillion ($2.8 trillion) in assets.
Also, Deutsche Bank said Thursday that it signed an agreement with Russia's UFG Asset Management to create a strategic partnership and promote business cooperation in Russia.
Deutsche Bank, through its asset management division will take a 40 percent stake in UFG Invest, the Russian investment management company of UFG AM, with an option to take a 100 percent stake down the road.
Deutsche Bank's existing asset management business in Russia, DWS Investments, will be combined with UFG Invest and the combined businesses will be named Deutsche UFG Capital Management.
Terms of that deal were not disclosed.
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