Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG are poised to formally announce the start of exploratory merger talks after the German government signaled it will allow job and cost cuts, according to people familiar with the matter.
The boards of both companies are planning to meet separately on Sunday to approve the beginning of discussions and an announcement could be made shortly after, the people said, asking not to be identified because the discussions are private. The banks have not made a final decision on entering negotiations and any talks may not lead to an agreed deal, the people said.
The start of formal talks would take the German banks a step closer to a historic deal creating Europe’s fourth-largest lender by assets and help fend off potentially hostile suitors. It would cap months of deal speculation and behind-the-scenes discussions with the government about the best ways to stabilize Germany’s largest listed lenders, which have struggled to restore revenue growth after deep cuts to their investment banking units and are now encountering an economic slowdown.
Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank declined to comment. The German finance ministry also declined to comment.
China said it will offer favorable tax incentives to overseas talent as part of efforts to lure professionals to work for its high-tech region which links Hong Kong and Macau with cities in southern China.
High-end foreign talent who work for the Greater Bay Area, and with skills that the country is short of, will get subsidies from local governments to help offset their individual income tax differentials between mainland China and Hong Kong, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement on Saturday.
The subsidies would be offered for five years starting from Jan. 1, 2019, and they will be exempted from paying individual income tax, according to the statement.