Commerzbank Will ‘Evolve’ Strategy in Coming Months, CEO Says

(Bloomberg) -- Commerzbank AG, following the collapse of merger talks with rival Deutsche Bank AG, will fine-tune its strategy over the coming months and update the market on its targets at the end of the third quarter, Chief Executive Officer Martin Zielke said.

“We’ll evaluate which opportunities and options we have to further evolve the strategy and speed up the implementation,” he said on a conference call with analysts Thursday.

The comments came just a few hours after Commerzbank announced that government-brokered merger discussions with Deutsche Bank had ended. The collapse of the talks has reignited speculation about a takeover of Commerzbank by a foreign lender. Both ING Groep NV and UniCredit SpA may be interested in acquiring the bank, people with knowledge of the matter have said.

During the call, Zielke declined to answer questions about potential interest from other banks who would want to buy Commerzbank.

The bank recently abandoned most of its financial targets for 2020 and replaced some of them with less ambitious ones. Those new targets are still intact, the CEO said.

Commerzbank’s current strategy “is the right one” and the company will “continue to fully focus on the implementation of our strategy,” Zielke said on the call, adding that additional cost cuts will be part of the review.

The update will likely happen during a capital-markets day at the end of the third quarter, and will include targets beyond 2020.

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