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Business

Qatari investors mulling support for Deutsche Bank

Media reports have suggested Qatari investors are considering raising their stake in Germany's Deutsche Bank, should the need arise. The lender is under mounting pressure as hefty fines loom and its stock plummets.

Qatari investors owning a 10-percent stake in Germany's biggest lender said they did not plan to sell their shares and could consider buying more, if Deutsche Bank decided to raise its capital, Reuters reported Friday.

Deutsche has been grappling with a confidence crisis, following US authorities' demands for up to $14 billion (12.5 billion euros) to settle allegations it mis-sold mortgage-backed securities.

Although recovering somewhat lately, the lender's stock has lost almost 50 percent in value since the end of last year. This implies that the Qatari investors may have lost, on paper, over $1.2 billion.

No time to waste

German weekly "Der Spiegel" said Qatari investors would likely expect to have a say in management issues, should they indeed decide to increase their support for the ailing bank. The German Finance Ministry said it would have no objections to a greater investment.

German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel noted the government in Berlin did not have its own risk assessment for the bank, but added that Germany was keen to see the lender succeed in the longer term.

"It's completely obvious that we have an interest in Deutsche Bank again becoming a stable financial institution that is successful nationally and internationally," Gabriel told reporters.

Reuters reported some of Germany's DAX-listed blue-chip companies had revived a decades-old network to discuss taking a direct stake in Deutsche as a way to help shield the bank.

hg/jd (Reuters, AFP)

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