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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Luxembourg bank to sell derivatives unit to Macquarie


FRANKFURT — The Luxembourg-based investment bank Sal. Oppenheim said Wednesday it had sold its equity trading and derivatives business to the Australian bank Macquarie.

Oppenheim, which is itself being bought by Deutsche Bank, did not provide financial details but according to the Financial Times Deutschland, Macquarie would pay around 50 million euros (70 million dollars) for the unit.

More than 90 Oppenheim employees would transfer to Macquarie as part of the deal, which is to close early in the second quarter of 2010, a statement said.

Macquarie would gain "access to a new range of products, a platform with state-of-the-art technology and top-class employees with in-depth knowledge of the domestic markets," Macquarie derivatives director Mark Gilbert said in a company statement.

A derivative is a financial instrument that derives or gets its value from some real good or stock, and Oppenheim trades them in Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.

Deutsche Bank is buying Oppenheim for around one billion euros (1.42 billion dollars), and Oppenheim said Tuesday that Deutsche Bank executive Wilhelm von Haller would become its new boss.

Germany's biggest bank is not interested in Oppenheim's derivatives activities however, but rather in the Luxembourg bank's impressive private wealth management portfolio, worth around 60 billion euros, analysts said.

The future of Oppenheim's merger-acquisition advisory and financial markets activities remain uncertain meanwhile, with the latter responsible for much of the bank's recent financial troubles.

It purchased in particular a big stake in the German retail group Arcandor, which has since declared bankruptcy.

Options also remain open regarding the Frankfurt-based BHF bank which Oppenheim bought in 2005 for 600 million euros.

Source:AFP

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