Deutsche Bank pays pounds 17m for Sharps

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The Independent Online
DEUTSCHE BANK has paid pounds 17.57m cash to Kleinwort Benson for Sharps Pixley, the London and New York bullion and metals dealer, following the announcement of the sale last September, writes John Willcock.

The value of the net assets acquired by Deutsche Bank is pounds 7.07m. The sale will not result in any charge to Kleinwort's accounts. Sharps' employees will be handed over with the business.

Sharps Pixley is one of five members of the London committee that fixes the price of gold each day. Deutsche wants to become a market-maker in London, where it now only trades precious metals.

Deutsche, Germany's largest bank, moved into merchant banking by buying Morgan Grenfell in the 1980s and wants to pursue a similar strategy in gold.

The bank is already active in the gold market, which was given renewed impetus by George Soros, Sir James Goldsmith and other speculators last year.

Analysts said yesterday the gold price looked poised to breach dollars 400 an ounce in the next few weeks. Gold was fixed at dollars 394.10 in London yesterday afternoon, a five- month high.

Deutsche is also involved in the silver markets around the world. Sharps is one of the three London dealers that fix the silver price.

Deutsche is already one of the three largest traders in South African gold. It is also involved in the Australian nugget market.

Kleinwort shares finished unchanged at 583p.