Deutsche Bank reportedly eyeing Citigroup German unit

Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, is in talks to buy the German subsidiary of US banking giant Citigroup, Citibank, WirtschaftsWoche magazine reported on Friday.

Deutsche Bank wants to merge the credit operations of Citibank with those of Norisbank, which Deutsche Bank acquired in 2006, the i>WirtschaftsWoche magazine said in its edition to appear on Monday.

The German group signalled its interest in the German activities of Citigroup in late April. Citigroup has suffered heavily from the meltdown in the US subprime – high risk – mortgage sector and has been looking to sell assets as a result.

Germany’s second bank, Commerzbank, has also expressed an interest in Citibank, which has 3.25 million customers and 340 branches in Germany. Citibank would provide any new owner with a chance to boost its presence in the retail banking sector.

A Citibank spokesman refused to comment on the report, apart from recalling that Citigroup is considering different options for its retail banking operations in Germany. Deutsche Bank likewise had no comment.