UPDATE 1-Dresdner Kleinwort to cut most Japan staff -sources

Tue Mar 17, 2009 8:11am EDT

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* Sources say around 200 to be laid off

* Bank says is closing Japanese branch

(Adds details, background)

By Olesya Dmitracova and David Dolan

LONDON/TOKYO, March 17 (Reuters) - Dresdner Kleinwort is planning to lay off almost all of its employees in Japan, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, as the investment bank is closing the local branch.

About 200 people would be made redundant, one of the sources said.

Dresdner Kleinwort, part of Dresdner Bank which was recently bought by German peer Commerzbank AG (CBKG.DE), declined comment.

The bank said earlier it is closing its Japanese branch.

"In Japan, Commerzbank has decided its future focus will be corporate banking. As such, Dresdner Bank's Tokyo branch will be integrated into the Commerzbank branch and ... Dresdner Kleinwort (Japan) Limited will be closed," Dresdner Kleinwort said.

It added that most of its businesses in Japan will be wound down, with the remainder transferred to other parts of Commerzbank.

"We are in the process of communicating to our clients, employees, and the local regulators on how this will be achieved," the bank added.

One of the sources said the integration of Dresdner Kleinwort's Japanese unit into the Commerzbank arm is expected to be completed by the end of March, with the investment banking businesses wound down over the following few months.

On March 5, Dresdner Bank said it would sell its Brazilian subsidiary to a group of domestic investors as it scales back globally.

The sale was part of "the new management's global review of Dresdner's business activities prior to the full integration of both banks", Dresdner said with reference to its acquisition by Commerzbank.

(Additional reporting by Patricia Uhlig in Frankfurt; editing by John Stonestreet)

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