FRANKFURT - Deutsche Bank is strong and its turnaround strategy is bearing fruit, Chairman Paul Achleitner said, ruling out the need for state aid and playing down speculation that the lossmaking German bank should merge.

In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, Achleitner added that he would not step down after a tough year in which Deutsche replaced its chief executive, was targeted in money laundering probes, and saw its share price halve.

"Let's look at the facts: Deutsche Bank has a very strong capital basis compared to its competitors," he told the Sunday paper, adding that new CEO Christian Sewing was getting costs under control.

Deutsche hopes to return to the black in 2018 after three consecutive years of losses. Sewing, hired in April, has pushed back against speculation that Deutsche could merge with struggling rival Commerzbank in the near future.

Achleitner reiterated that stance and, asked whether Deutsche may need financial support, said: "This scenario will not come about."

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Jan Harvey) ((; +49 69 7565 1271; Reuters Messaging: