Frankfurt/London: Qatar’s royal family asked Germany’s financial regulator for approval to boost its stake in Deutsche Bank AG to more than 10 per cent, 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 (Dh31.9 billion, $8.7 billion) in fresh capital, the people said, declining 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.
Bafin and Deutsche Bank declined to comment, while the Qatari family office couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.
Concentration of voting rights
The Chinese conglomerate HNA Group recently became the lender’s largest shareholder when it raised its stake to just below 10 per cent. If the Qataris increased their holding to above that threshold, the two investor groups would hold more than one fifth of the bank, resulting in a concentration of voting rights unprecedented for the German lender in recent years.
Deutsche Bank shares rose as much as 1.8 per cent on the news to €17.65 and were trading at €17.35 as of 11:35am in Frankfurt.
The Qatari family was looking at increasing their stake to as much as 25 per cent, people familiar with the matter said in October. Shaikh Hamad Bin Jasem Bin Jabr Al Thani, former Prime Minister of the Gulf State, and the former Emir of the country, Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani hold a joint stake of just under 9 per cent, according to people familiar with the matter. Their latest regulatory filing shows a combined stake of 6.1 per cent.