The programme is based on authorisation given by its shareholders at the Annual General Meeting and will be implemented systematically. Shares will be acquired through direct purchases in the spot market and through the sale of put options. The programme will be funded from current earnings and by further reducing risk-weighted assets. The bank intends to use the repurchased shares both to reduce its share capital and service possible equity-based compensation programmes.
All transactions within the scope of this buy-back programme will be managed in such a way that Deutsche Bank's core capital ratio remains at the upper end of the communicated target band of 8 - 9 per cent. The bank will publish information regularly on the progress of the share buy-back programme.
In addition, Josef Ackermann, Spokesman of the Board of Managing Directors and Chairman of the Group Executive Committee, will confirm at an investor conference the bank’s target pre-tax return-on-equity of 25 per cent in the medium term. This improved performance will be driven by the profitable growth of the bank’s core businesses and by continuing the successful cost reduction programme.
Deutsche Bank plans to achieve an operating cost base by the end of 2004 of less than Euro 16.5 billion. The reduction can be reached as the impact of earlier cost cutting measures become fully visible next year and as additional cuts in infrastructure costs are made.
”Focusing on the bank’s profitability is an important element in our current strategy,” Ackermann said. ”The share buy-back programme shows that we are ready to return excess capital directly to our shareholders.”
The investor conference will be webcasted live at www.deutsche-bank.com/ir under “IR Newsboard / Video & Audio” from 10 a.m. GMT onwards.
Forward-looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could therefore cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Such factors include the conditions in the financial markets in Germany, in Europe, in the United States and elsewhere from which we derive a substantial portion of our trading revenues; potential defaults of borrowers or trading counterparties; the implementation of our restructuring including the envisaged reduction in headcount; the reliability of our risk manage-ment policies, pro-cedures and methods; and other risks referenced in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Such factors are described in detail in our SEC Form 20-F of March 27, 2003 on pages 9 through 13 under the heading "Risk Factors." Copies of this document are readily available upon request or can be downloaded from www.deutsche-bank.com/ir.