Deutsche Bank to raise billions with rights issue

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Deutsche Bank AG said Sunday it will seek to raise EUR8 billion ($8.5 billion) through a share sale, a move to shore up the German lender's capital less than two years into a major restructuring under Chief Executive John Cryan.

Deutsche Bank said it plans to issue as many as 687.5m new shares with subscription rights to existing shareholders and with the same dividend rights as other outstanding shares. Other measures include floating a minority stake in its Deutsche Asset Management business within the next two years, and creating an integrat. Schenck will run the combined unit with Garth Ritchie, who now leads the trading division. Deutsche Bank had been looking for a buyer for Postbank.

While litigation costs and writedowns on past acquisitions have weighed on Deutsche Bank's earnings, it has also fallen behind its Wall Street rivals, lagging their strong fourth quarter rebound in bond trading for instance. "The Bank intends to continue serving the needs of its clients across transaction banking, corporate finance, capital markets, asset management, wealth management and retail banking".

The bank - the largest one in Germany - lost $1.5 billion in 2016 after a $7.2 billion dollar settlement with the United States Justice Department over the bank's sale of toxic mortgage securities.

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After unveiling plans to restructure the business into four units to much fanfare only a year and a half ago, the group's strategy has pivoted once again to further simplify the business model into three divisions.

In another about-face, the lender scrapped plans to sell its Postbank unit, saying it was unable to do so at an acceptable price.

The coming couple of months are seen as a good window by bankers for it to raise cash, coming ahead of France's presidential election in May and at a time when stock markets are at record highs.

These steps depend on market conditions and the approval of Deutsche Bank's management and supervisory boards, the German flagship lender said, adding that no decision had been made on the matter yet.