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Money Management

Commerzbank selling equities, commodities, ETF unit to Societe Generale

Commerzbank AG agreed to sell its equity markets and commodities business, including the €9 billion ($10.5 billion) exchange-traded funds unit, to Societe Generale Group, the German bank said in a news release Tuesday.

The deal is expected to close by year-end, but the full transfer probably will take up to two years, a Commerzbank spokesman said. The value of the transaction was not disclosed.

"As for now, there will be no changes to existing ComStage ETFs. The existing product range will be seamlessly maintained. All services and products currently offered remain available," Commerzbank said in the release. The transfer of ComStage ETF to Societe Generale's ETF business, Lyxor Asset Management, will start at the end of this year, the spokesman confirmed.

In addition to some 109 ETFs and an ETF market-making platform, the equity markets and commodities business comprises manufacturing, market making of flow, structured trading and investment products. All staff will be retained by Societe Generale following the transaction, the spokesman said.

"With this agreement, we are delivering a further milestone in the implementation of our 'Commerzbank 4.0' strategy," Martin Zielke, CEO of Commerzbank said in a news release.

"Over the last 29 years, the (ECM) business has grown in Commerzbank to be one of the leading European manufacturers and market makers of financial products. I am convinced that with Societe Generale and Lyxor, leading derivatives and ETF houses, we have found the right new owners for this franchise to grow, innovate and be even more successful in the future," Roberto Vila, divisional board member equity markets and commodities said in the release.

Commerzbank's equity capital markets, equity brokerage businesses and the hedging business for commodity risks will not be part of the transaction.

The transaction is subject to approval by relevant authorities and the employees before EMC's trading books, clients and staff are transferred to Societe Generale.

Lyxor has €139.9 billion in assets under management.