January 8, 2018 / 8:47 AM / a year ago

Cerberus sees room in Germany for Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank-Handelsblatt

FRANKFURT, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Cerberus Chief Executive Stephen Feinberg has told the German government that he is not interested in a merger of Deutsche Bank and smaller rival Commerzbank, German newspaper Handelsblatt reported on Monday, citing several people familiar with the matter.

Cerberus holds 3 percent of shares in Deutsche Bank and 5 percent in Commerzbank, which has fuelled speculation that the U.S. buyout fund could push for a merger of the two banks.

But according to Handelsblatt, Feinberg said in meetings in mid-December with senior representatives at Germany’s chancellery, the Finance Ministry and regulators that Germany’s economy had room for two big private banks.

He also said that he saw much potential for Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank to improve their efficiency and productivity and reduce complexities, according to the newspaper.

Cerberus was not immediately available to comment.

Deutsche Bank on Friday said it would report its third consecutive annual loss for 2017, defying its chief executive’s expectations of a swing to profit and highlighting the difficulty of overhauling Germany’s largest lender.

Shares in Deutsche Bank were down 1.2 percent at 15.30 euros by 0823 GMT, while Commerzbank was 0.7 percent lower at 12.57 euros, putting the two banks among the biggest decliners in Germany’s blue-chip DAX index in early trade. (Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Additional reporting by Arno Schuetze. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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