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Business

Deutsche Bank Posts Historic Annual Loss

Germany's Deutsche Bank has posted an historic annual loss, including a record loss in the fourth quarter of 2008. CEO Josef Ackermann attributes the setback to "weaknesses" in the institution's business model.

Josef Ackermann

Ackermann says the result is due to 'completely unprecedented' conditions

Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest, said it suffered a net loss of 3.9 billion euros ($5 billion) in 2008, confirming reports from mid-January. But despite the loss, the bank said it would pay out a dividend of 50 euro cents per share.

A net loss of 4.8 billion euros was accrued in the fourth quarter alone, compared with a net profit of 1 billion euros in the fourth quarter of 2007.

"Operating conditions in the quarter were completely unprecedented, and exposed some weaknesses in our business model," Ackermann said in a statement.

Though Ackermann predicted that "very difficult" economic conditions would continue in the near future, he said he was optimistic that "Deutsche Bank will emerge successfully from the current crisis."

Dividend a sign to shareholders

Deutsche Bank said it plans to pay out a dividend of 50 euro cents per share for 2008, reflecting "confidence in the bank's future performance," Ackermann said. The bank paid a 4.50 euro per share dividend for 2007.

Ackermann has repeatedly said Deutsche Bank does not need to raise capital and would not participate in the German government's 480-billion-euro bank bailout plan. To avoid raising funds or relying on government handouts, Ackermann has said he aims to shrink Deutsche Bank's assets and reduce its dependence on borrowed money.

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