The local unit of Deutsche Bank AG has appealed a Seoul court's decision to freeze its assets over allegations that the company pocketed massive profits from illegal stock market trading late November, the court said Thursday. The bank lodged the appeal last month in response to the Seoul Central District Court's order to freeze 44.8 billion won ($42.3 million) worth of deposits jointly held by the lender and Deutsche Securities Korea, its brokerage unit, court spokesman Gong Do-il said. The sum, deposited at the bank's Seoul branch and HSBC Bank Plc. here, is equivalent to the amount prosecutors estimate the foreign bank unit raked in through the alleged market manipulation. The court took the step ahead of its first formal hearing on the case on Aug. 11. "The court accepted prosecutors' request for the asset freeze order and Deutsche filed the appeal to overturn it," the spokesman said, referring to the court decision to ban transactions on the deposits for potential forfeiture. The latest move came as prosecutors have looked into allegations that several employees made massive profits by placing hefty stock sell orders on the local market, triggering a sharp 2.7% plunge in the key stock index KOSPI on Nov. 11. The sell orders were supposedly placed in order to bring handsome returns on their holdings of put options, which were structured to yield profits upon key index plunges.