Deutsche Bank, Germany's largest financial institution, is planning to further expand its operations in the GCC and Middle East with more branch and representative offices to target multinational companies.
The bank, with a presence in the UAE for decades, recently opened a branch in Abu Dhabi's Sheikh Khalifa City. From this branch the bank plans to serve the biggest corporate and multinational businesses, with particular focus on German companies having interests in the GCC and the Middle East.
Werner Steinmüller, the bank's Head of Global Transaction Banking, in an exclusive interview, outlines future expansion plans in the region.
How is Deutsche Bank increasing its presence in the region? You have opened a full-fledged branch in the UAE at a time when most banks are trying to cut their costs?
Deutsche Bank has weathered the storm very well most of the time. Our profit for the first three quarters of 2009 was good at €3.5 billion [Dh17.5bn]. I cannot talk about the fourth quarter results, as they are yet to be announced. But we did very well last year. We have not taken any government money because of our good performance both in our home base Germany and worldwide.
During the recession we always strived to strengthen our positioning. Because of this, we are now positioned as the number one investment bank, and we are very strong. We are also very strong in commercial banking.
The third thing that we are very strong in is handling securities. We handle all types of security accounts of global multinational companies very well. So we are focusing on commercial banking and services for corporate institutions as well as banks.
What about the financial results in 2008 at the peak of the recession?
Unfortunately, we lost in 2008, because of the high global meltdown, overall as the Deutsche Bank group.
What was the company's percentage growth in 2009 against 2008?
I don't have these figures because you have to think about investment banking, other different business interest, and it depends on how successful you are, how your positioning is and products in which we lost money.
What is your forecast for the fourth quarter of 2009 and 2010?
No comments. We are a listed company, and bearing in mind our investors' faith I can only tell you about things that are made public. However, I can give a figure about 2011. Deutsche Bank wants to make, subject to stable business environment and increase in interest rate, close to €10bn in profit.
What are your expansion plans for this year?
In Germany, we have hundreds of branches because of retail business, but we are not retail in every country when we talk about our global interests. We are in 42 countries with our branches presently offering all ranges of our products, including commercial banking. We have another 32 representative offices.
Any further expansion plans for the GCC?
Our expansion plans in the region really depend on licences that we have to obtain in order to operate here. We are licensed to operate in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Beyond the GCC, we also have an operational branch in Algeria and a representative office in Egypt.
But overall, I think, this region, particularly the GCC, has growth potential. This is one of the reasons that we have opened our full-fledged branch in Abu Dhabi. But we have already been in the country with a regional head office in Dubai.
What is Deutsche Bank targeting in the UAE in terms of clients?
Let me make it clear that we do not want to be in retail banking here. We want to be with multinational clients, German subsidiaries and large and medium caps and our global clients who have business interests here.
Any plans for more branches and representative offices this year?
We want to further expand our branch network globally. In November, we opened a branch in Ukraine, in December there was the soft opening of a branch in China, and now Abu Dhabi. We have further plans of opening more branches, mainly in Central and Eastern Europe.
What about India, which is another fast growing and strong economy?
In India, we have two additional branches every year. Currently, we have 15 branches with 7,000 employees in the country.
PROFILE: Werner Steinmüller Head of Global Transaction Banking, Deutsche Bank
Steinmüller has been Head of Global Transaction Banking since 2004, a member of the Group Executive Committee since 2009, and a member of the Global Banking Executive Committee at Deutsche Bank.
He is responsible for leading the international efforts in cash management, trust and securities services, trade finance and risk
Steinmüller studied at the University of Darmstadt and holds a master's degree in mechanical engineering and business administration. From 1980 until 1991 he worked in various positions at Citibank in Germany, the last being head of corporate finance.
Steinmüller joined Deutsche Bank as a corporate finance director in 1991.
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