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Bankers Trust Profit Down But Beats Estimates
NEW YORK — Bankers Trust Corp. on Thursday posted a 54 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits to $96 million, but its earnings beat Wall Street estimates and the bank said it was on track to complete its merger with Germany's Deutsche Bank AG in the second quarter.

Bankers, which sold itself to Germany's largest bank last autumn, said it earned 89 cents a share in the fourth quarter, below the $1.82 it earned in last year's fourth quarter but well ahead of the 58 cents a share analysts expected it to earn, according to tracking service First Call.

"Our merger remains on track for completion in the second quarter, and our integration teams are making excellent progress toward forming what promises to be a global financial powerhouse," Bankers Trust Chairman Frank Newman said.

The bank, which grappled with large third-quarter losses and turmoil in emerging markets, recorded $36 million in expenses in the fourth quarter due to its cost-cutting plans. It has laid off about 400 employees, primarily in the fourth quarter, and closed offices in Latin America and elsewhere.

In the fourth quarter, its emerging markets group posted a net loss of $205 million, down from a net loss of $328 million in the third quarter but above a loss of $62 million in last year's fourth quarter. Bankers' investment banking business had net income of $137 million compared to $162 million in last year's fourth quarter while trading and sales recorded net income of $90 million, up from $14 million a year ago.

At the end of December, Bankers had $5.4 billion in emerging markets cross-border exposure to Asia, Latin America and Russia, down 18 percent from the end of September. Weak economic conditions in Asia created trading losses there, as in Latin America, the bank said.

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