Deutsche Bank ekes out profit, refocuses investment bank

The towers of the Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt. The bank will focus on European clients as it overhauls its struggling investment bank. Michael Probst / AP

Deutsche Bank's adjusted costs for the first three months of the year, meanwhile, were €6.3 billion, little changed from a year earlier. They've argued that maintaining most of the global investment-banking operations is key to the lender's core mission of serving German companies overseas, while conceding that those businesses do need to be trimmed.

The bank also stated that additional cost cutting measures will be implemented, including job cuts but no specifications were given.

In a separate statement, the group said the unit would "focus its activities and resources on its European and multinational clients and the products which are most relevant for them, while reducing its exposure to other areas".

"Deutsche Bank is deeply rooted in Europe - here we want to provide our clients access to global financing and treasury solutions", said new chief executive Christian Sewing. "Therefore we have to act decisively and to adjust our strategy". "There is no time to lose as the current returns for our shareholders are not acceptable".

The changes would mean more stable revenue sources from steadier kinds of business such as retail banking and its asset management business, the bank said.

Deutsche Bank has announced plans for a substantial investment bank shake-up after reporting a sharp drop in profits, saying it will be making significant workforce cuts. "What the restructuring is missing is details for now".

Deutsche's investment bank has traditionally been strong in the fixed income markets, with rates trading a particular area of strength, but it has struggled to gain traction in the US.

Thursday's announcement marks a retreat from decades during which Germany's largest lender sought to take on the largest Wall Street banks.

Dekabank Deutsche Girozentrale, which manages about $12.90B US Long portfolio, decreased its stake in Euronav Nv Antwerpen by 518,926 shares to 74,524 shares, valued at $536,000 in 2017Q4, according to the filing. The stock has an average rating of "Hold" and a consensus target price of $17.41. With the review still ongoing, Achleitner was secretly seeking replacements for Cryan while the CEO fought to keep his job.

Deutsche Bank confirmed that target on Thursday. The division saw pre-tax profits plunge 74% year-on-year to €205m.

For years it has tried to compete with the major Wall Street investment banks, but now Deutsche Bank, the leading German bank, has chose to throw in the towel and is preparing for a withdrawal from the American and Asian markets to focus on European customers.

"Delivery is key from here", said Guy de Blonay, a fund manager at Jupiter Asset Management. This will entail a drastic downsizing of interest rate trading in the United States and corporate banking in America and Asia, the bank noted in a statement.

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