I'm not under political pressure to merge, Deutsche Bank's CEO says

FILE PHOTO: Christian Sewing, new CEO of Germany's Deutsche Bank, gestures as he addresses the audience during the bank's annual meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, May 24, 2018. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach/File Photo

BERLIN (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank's DBKGn.DE Chief Executive Christian Sewing said he was not experiencing pressure from the German government to merge with smaller rival Commerzbank CBKG.DE, adding that he was comfortable with the progress the troubled lender was making on cost-pruning.

“I feel no political pressure,” Sewing told a business summit in Berlin on Monday, adding that, while the bank’s long-term share performance had been poorer than management wished, it had not recently underperformed the European banking index.

“We are not pleased with the share price ... But with the profitability we have now, it is not completely unfair,” Sewing said, adding that when the market sees Deutsche is delivering cost cuts, it will revalue the company.

He was bullish on the stake recently taken in the bank by activist fund Hudson Executive Capital LP, saying that he always welcomed investors’ active interest in the bank.

“I regard this investment as purely positive,” he said.

Reporting by Thomas Escritt and Paul Carrel; Editing by Tom Sims