March 23, 2018 / 8:40 AM / 4 months ago

Shares of Deutsche Bank's DWS unit edge higher in market debut

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Shares in Deutsche Bank’s asset management arm DWS made small gains on Friday in their debut on the Frankfurt stock exchange, a milestone in the German lender’s turnaround plan.

Nicolas Moreau, CEO of Deutsche Bank's asset management unit DWS, and Claire Peel, CFO of DWS, ring the bell to start the share trade for the first time after its IPO on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Germany March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

The shares changed hands at 32.60 euros at 0845 GMT, just above the issue price of 32.50 euros set by the bank on Thursday, a level expected to generate proceeds of about 1.4 billion euros for Deutsche.

That was less than the bank originally hoped for, but the listing of DWS, more than a year in the making, is expected to be one of Germany’s biggest this year and is part of a broader overhaul which Deutsche Bank hopes will move it on from a string of lawsuits and trading scandals.

Nicolas Moreau, CEO of Deutsche Bank's asset management unit DWS, and Claire Peel, CFO of DWS, pose for pictures in front of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Germany March 23, 2018. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach

“We’re happy - in the last few days we never thought of postponing or cancelling the stock market listing,” said DWS Chief Executive Nicolas Moreau, referring to recent falls on international stock markets.

A company spokesman said the order book for the share offering had been subscribed multiple times over.

The IPO was brought forward to lock in the valuation ahead of any further stock market falls.

DWS said on Thursday that 44.5 million shares had been placed with investors, a smaller than expected 22.25 percent of its shares. The placement price gives the asset management business a market value of 6.5 billion euros.

FILE PHOTO: The new logo of Deutsche Bank's DWS Asset Management is pictured at their headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, March 19, 2018. REUTERS/Ralph Orlowski/File Photo

Originally, Deutsche Bank had hoped to generate proceeds of up to 2 billion euros by selling 25 percent of DWS, giving the unit a value of 8 billion euros.

During the listing process, the bank scaled back its expectations but did find big investors, including insurer Nippon Life of Japan and investment company Tikehau Capital.. Nippon agreed to acquire a 5 percent stake.

A successful IPO will be a relief for Deutsche, which has been dogged by three successive years of losses.

The bank’s shares fell sharply on Wednesday when its finance chief warned of headwinds for its investment bank in the first quarter.

But Chief Financial Officer James von Moltke was optimistic about DWS.

“It’s a revenue stream, it’s capital-light, it’s higher margin and it’s higher growth we think than many of our businesses,” von Moltke told an investor conference in London.

Reporting by Tom Sims, Andreas Framke and Douglas Busvine; Editing by Ludwig Burger/Keith Weir

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