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Deutsche Bank to Examine Farm Commodity Trading, Foodwatch Says

October 20, 2011

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG has promised to examine its agricultural commodity trading business to ensure Germany’s largest bank doesn’t exacerbate hunger or poverty, according to Foodwatch, which studies food-related issues.

The Berlin-based organization said in an Oct. 18 statement on its website that investment banks such as Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and other financial companies are partly responsible for famine in some of the poorest countries as agricultural commodity “speculation” raises food prices.

“I share your sadness that many people in the world still live in poverty and suffer hunger,” Deutsche Bank Chief Executive Officer Josef Ackermann said in a letter to the organization yesterday. The lender will examine a Foodwatch study and should sufficient evidence be found of “activities of Deutsche Bank that could have the consequences you describe, we will take the appropriate action,” he wrote. Company spokesman Armin Niedermeier confirmed his comments.

Foodwatch published Ackermann’s comments in an e-mailed statement today.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Nicholas Comfort at

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