Qatar to Seek Approval to Lift Deutsche Bank Stake Over 10%

Qatar Said to Seek Boost to Deutsche Stake

Qatar’s royal family asked Germany’s financial regulator for approval to boost its stake in Deutsche Bank AG to more than 10 percent, a signal it may be seeking greater control of Europe’s largest investment bank, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The request was made several months ago with Bafin, as the regulator is known, and before Deutsche Bank’s announcement in March that it would raise 8 billion euros ($8.7 billion) in fresh capital, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. Approval for the request is still pending, the people said, adding the Qataris have made no final decision on whether they will increase their stake and by how much.

A formal application hasn’t been submitted to Bafin, one person said, without elaborating on the discussions that have taken place between the parties. 

Bafin and Deutsche Bank declined to comment, while the Qatari family office couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

The Chinese conglomerate HNA Group recently became the lender’s largest shareholder when it raised its stake to just below 10 percent. If the Qataris surpassed that threshold, the two investor groups would hold more than a fifth of the bank, resulting in a concentration of voting rights unprecedented for the German lender in recent years.

Deutsche Bank shares closed 0.9 percent higher at 17.49 euros in Frankfurt.

The Qatari family was looking at increasing its stake to as much as 25 percent, people familiar with the matter said in October. Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al Thani, former prime minister of the Gulf state, and the former emir of the country, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, hold a joint stake of just under 9 percent, according to people familiar with the matter. Their latest regulatory filing shows a combined stake of 6.1 percent.

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