REFILE-UPDATE 1-Deutsche Bank to rebuild in South Africa, months after cuts

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JOHANNESBURG, Feb 20 (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank is hiring 26 people in South Africa, a spokesman said on Wednesday, less than a year after scaling back the operation in a broad restructuring of its investment bank.

The spokesman said the lender had appointed a new head of corporate finance coverage in South Africa and the remaining hires would mostly be in corporate finance, fixed income and corporate treasury solutions, as well as operational support and client adoption.

Gregory Scott, the new corporate finance head who was previously a senior director in the local corporate finance team, had been in position for a few months, the spokesman said.

Deutsche Bank, Germany’s largest lender that has had a presence in South Africa since 1979, reported its first annual profit in four years this month following a turnaround strategy implemented by Chief Executive Christian Sewing.

As part of the turnaround, Deutsche Bank announced in June it would shut its corporate broking, advisory and sponsor services in South Africa, meaning a small number of job losses among its workforce of around 70 people.

Rival investment bank Credit Suisse said in November it would pull out of South Africa.

Sewing planned to slash more than 7,000 jobs as part of his overhaul of Deutsche Bank but said in February the bank would now start making “focused investments in growth” while keeping costs down.

Deutsche Bank’s profit for the full year failed to fully restore the faith of its shareholders, who have also been shaken by a failed stress test, several restructuring attempts, a leadership shake up, a ratings downgrade and money laundering allegations.

Reporting by Emma Rumney Editing by Edmund Blair