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Deutsche announcement on DeAM seen delayed

GERMANY - Deutsche Bank is not expected to announce a decision on the possible sale of Deutsche Asset Management in the UK until early next month.

Sources familiar with events told IPE that, contrary to market expectations, a decision on the future of DeAM in the UK would not be made on April 29, when Deutsche is to report its first-quarter results.

The German bank was originally expected to decide the fate of its UK asset manager at the end of March. The business has been under review since December after losing top managers and tens of billions of euros in institutional assets.

In late Feburary, Deutsche hired the UK financial consultancy Hawkpoint in a sign that it was looking to sell DeAM in the UK rather than trying to turn it around.

However, the sources said the original end-March deadline for an announcement was passed over to give “potential buyers more time to closely examine the business”. Analysts estimate that DeAM in the UK could be worth as much as €1.1bn.

Deutsche has declined comment on potential buyers for the business.

Esther Nass, spokeswoman for DeAM in the UK, said the alternative option of fixing the business was still very viable. She noted that DeAM’s performance in UK equities had improved since the review began and that its performance in UK bonds was as strong as ever.

Meanwhile in Germany, Deutsche watchers remain sceptical that the bank will succeed in finding a buyer for the UK asset manager.

“Because the business has been haemorrhaging, Deutsche simply is not able to sell it at a reasonable price”, said Konrad Becker, an analyst at the Munich private bank Merck, Finck & Co. “If given the choice of taking a hit on the sale or repairing the business, my view is that Deutsche will stick to the latter”.

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