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Deutsche Bank to buy Norisbank branches for E420 million

Germany's largest bank will acquire 98 Norisbank branches, located in 58 cities, in a bid to bolster its retail banking business in its home market.

The leading German bank will buy the branches from German cooperative bank DZ Bank, which owns 90% of Norisbank, for E420 million ($537 million).

Following the deal Deutsche will take on Norisbank’s 334,000 retail customers and a loan book of E1.4 billion and deposits of E1.6 billion.

This transaction underscores our readiness to make acquisitions in the highly competitive German market if they match with our overall strategic concept, said Josef Ackermann, Deutsche’s chief executive.

Currently more than 20% of the German retail banking market is controlled by private banks while the rest is controlled by co-operative banks and the publicly-owned Sparkassen and Landesbanken.

The latest acquisition to boost the group’s business with private clients in Germany follows Deutsche’s E680.5 million acquisition of Berliner Bank back in June, 2006.

The Berliner deal, which awaits regulatory and antitrust approval, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2006.