Bloomberg News

FRANKFURT - Deutsche Bank AG's stock price reached a record high Tuesday amid optimism that Europe's biggest bank will step up plans to unwind stakes worth some $21 billion in industrial companies and invest the money more profitably.

The bank's shares rose as much as 2%, valuing the company at nearly $60 billion. Its value has risen by about a quarter since Deutsche abandoned a plan to buy Dresdner Bank AG in April.

Along with other German financial services companies, Deutsche shares are rising amid hopes the company will accelerate plans to divest industrial holdings after Germany's parliament approved scrapping a tax on asset sales last Friday.

"The abolition of the tax on capital gains will allow German banks to unwind their traditional shareholdings and realize substantial gains tax free, thus significantly improving their flexibility," Standard & Poor's told investors.

Deutsche, which sold nearly $2.5 billion worth of Allianz AG shares in May, will push ahead with such sales, chief executive Rolf Breuer told shareholders last month. Its holdings include a stake in Suedzucker AG, an ice cream maker, and DaimlerChrysler AG, Europe's biggest industrial company.

In the past year Deutsche shares have risen 46%. Dresdner Bank AG shares have gained 14%, while Commerzbank AG, which is in merger talks with Dresdner, has added 27%.

Dresdner Bank and Commerzbank would have a combined market value of about $40 billion, or about three quarters of Deutsche Bank, which last year bought Bankers Trust Corp.

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