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Deutsche Bank Explores Sale of Frankfurt Headquarters

Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest bank, may sell its Frankfurt base as investor demand for office space increases in the country’s financial center.

The company “is deliberating over the question if real estate should be kept in proprietary possession or should be used via a sale-and-lease-back,” according to an e-mailed statement today.

Deutsche Bank bought the two 36-story glass towers, known as Soll und Haben, or Debit and Credit, from one of its real estate funds for 272 million euros ($359 million) in 2007. The bank spent three years renovating the buildings to make them more environmentally friendly and has started the process of moving 2,800 people back in over the next three months.

Demand for Frankfurt office space is rising as the German economy rebounds from the global financial crisis, prompting the most investment in the city since 2007. It may reach 2 billion euros this year, according to CB Richard Ellis Group Inc., the world’s largest property adviser.

Deutsche Bank may sell the Frankfurt building for 500 million euros, Financial Times Deutschland reported today, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation.

Banco Santander SA, Spain’s biggest banks, and HSBC Holdings Plc, Europe’s largest bank by market value, both sold their head offices and leased them back in the past two years.

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