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Financials

Deutsche Forfait eyes return to profitability by mid-2015 - CFO

FRANKFURT, Oct 17 (Reuters) - DF Deutsche Forfait hopes to return to profitability by mid-2015, recovering from losses incurred due to a U.S. regulator’s investigation of the German trade finance specialist in connection with trade sanctions, its finance chief said.

“We expect that it will be possible to return to profitability in the course of the first half of 2015,” Frank Hock told Reuters in an interview on Friday.

Deutsche Forfait, which buys receivables from exporters and then sells them on to investors, earlier said it was removed from the sanctions list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), pushing its share price up as much as 88 percent.

The stock’s value had collapsed from more than 4 euros at the start of the year to levels as low as 0.47 euros on news in February that OFAC, part of the U.S. Treasury that oversees trade sanctions based on U.S. foreign policy, suspected Deutsche Forfait of having violated trade sanctions against Iran.

Losses and one-off costs related to the group’s stint on the sanctions list, which were already equal to half of its share capital in August, will exceed 10 million euros ($13 million) by the time the group has ramped up its business again, Hock said.

Hock said Deutsche Forfait would present a restructuring plan within two weeks to which shareholders, bondholders and lenders, the biggest of which is Germany’s Commerzbank , will all have to contribute.

He declined to provide details on what measures were being considered but said a capital increase in cash or in kind or a debt-to-equity swap were conceivable.

“We have to raise at least what we incurred in losses,” he said. He also said he was in talks with banks to extend loans.

$1 = 0.7841 euro Reporting by Maria Sheahan; Editing by Harro ten Wolde

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