|Bid||5.85 x 555100|
|Ask||5.85 x 230000|
|Day's Range||5.59 - 5.92|
|52 Week Range||4.45 - 10.37|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.45|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Earnings Date||Apr 29, 2020|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.11 (2.00%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||May 24, 2019|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
As Germany rolls out a 750 billion-euro economic stimulus package, officials and experts are discussing whether German lenders, including Deutsche Bank AG and Commerzbank AG, will be able to weather the economic fallout of coronavirus without state help. Interviews with more than a dozen people, including government officials and senior bankers, show some officials fear that if the crisis persists, weakened lenders would choke off credit to the economy and worsen the situation. For now though, several sources said Chancellor Angela Merkel's government is focusing on propping up non-financial companies under the stimulus package and no action is expected on banks in the near term.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Banks insist they’re in much better shape than they were during the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. This time, as the coronavirus lockdowns wreck output, lenders can be “doctors of the economy,” in the words of one industry executive. True, banks have much larger capital buffers and better access to funding than was the case 12 years ago. How smart they've been at running their trading businesses remains to be seen.Some of Europe’s biggest banks have gone into the worst economic contraction since the Second World War sitting on huge piles of complex, risky trades whose fair value is hard to determine. These are the so-called Level 2 and Level 3 assets, the types of instruments that blew up in 2008.Valuations of Level 2 assets — mainly over-the-counter derivatives and illiquid stocks — are derived from using observable external measures, such as the price of similar instruments traded in the market. Level 3 assets are the most illiquid instruments, whose prices depend on inputs that aren’t observable to outsiders. Unlike Level 1 assets, which have easily viewed market prices, investors have to rely on banks’ internal models, and own judgments, to get a handle on the Level 2 and Level 3 exposure. Fair values for the same instrument might easily differ from firm to firm.The absolute size of these risky asset pots — totaling several hundred billions of dollars at many of the largest banks — is eye-watering. They dwarf the lenders’ capital by many multiples. Take Deutsche Bank AG: Its stock of Level 2 and Level 3 assets is more than 11 times its common equity Tier 1 capital. At Britain’s Barclays Plc, it is just shy of 11 times, at France’s Societe Generale SA it’s seven times and at Switzerland’s Credit Suisse Group AG it’s almost eight times. While plenty has been written about the inevitable build-up of bad loans in the Covid-19 downturn, these piles of interest-rate swaps and collateralized debt obligations need to be considered too. In the recent market rout, every major asset class was upended. U.S. stocks fell into a bear market at record speed, the dollar soared and safe-haven assets such as government bonds were rocked. How banks’ risky assets fared during the unprecedented turmoil is guesswork from the outside. All the banks listed in the table above declined to comment for this piece. One bank executive, who asked to remain anonymous, said the balances of banks’ Level 2 and Level 3 assets and liabilities may both have increased in the quarter, which would be a welcome sign that hedges have been working in the turmoil.For example, the decline in long-term interest rates would have increased the present value of years-old derivatives that swapped fixed rates for floating rates. Interest-rate derivatives tend to make up the bulk of the portfolios, and they may have offset declines in the prices of equities and loans. (That said, some hedges would have been for interest rates and inflation to rise, so they could be heavily in the red.)Less welcome is that banks will probably have to start moving things from Level 2 to Level 3 as price discovery becomes more difficult. Some may decide that observable measures through mid-to-late February are sufficient to keep assets in the Level 2 pot for the first quarter. Each bank has its own model. Lehman Brothers allegedly shifted mortgage-backed securities and other assets from Level 2 to Level 3 in 2008 in an effort to prop up their values.The market became hugely skeptical about these instruments during the financial crisis. A 2015 study published by the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy showed that investors valued Level 2 assets at 85 cents on the dollar and Level 3 assets at 79 cents during 2008. More troubling for the banks sitting on large stocks of Level 2 instruments is that an analysis by Wharton Research Scholars shows they were discounted even more significantly during the crisis than the more opaque Level 3 stuff.Investors should look at how frequently banks turn over their Level 3 assets, according to analysts at Berenberg, who published a report this week saying that France’s BNP Paribas SA, Credit Agricole SA and SocGen have the lowest turnover of Level 3 instruments among 12 banks they studied, which means the assets are probably “stickier and harder to sell.” Credit Suisse has the highest turnover among the group.The French banks, Credit Suisse, Barclays and Deutsche each hold Level 3 assets that are as large as, if not larger than, those of Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., even though the latter have much bigger trading businesses.The European Systemic Risk Board, the European Union body that monitors the financial system’s stability, has also noted the Level 2 and Level 3 threat — particularly the prospect for “opportunistic behavior” by managers and the overvaluation of assets. “If several banks were to be affected simultaneously at a time of acute fragility in the financial system, concerns could spread to the macroprudential domain and affect financial stability,” a February report from the board warned.What’s more, banks no longer have to use the crisis-era filters that protected their capital positions from movements in the fair value of assets they hold for sale. Without these filters, fair-value gains and losses are directly recognized in banks’ income statements even if they’re unrealized. And as my colleague Ferdinando Giugliano noted, significant risks may lie in smaller banks that may not have been as transparent in their Level 2 and Level 3 disclosures.Equally concerning is the faith being placed in banks’ risk management practices, especially since regulators started loosening the rules because of the Covid-19 crisis. In its 2019 review, the European Central Bank’s Single Supervisory Mechanism, its bank oversight arm, observed a worsening of internal governance, especially among the larger lenders. Regulator’s plans to tackle this area of weakness with a new set of capital rules for trading desks — known as the Fundamental Review of the Trading Book — was pushed back a year to January 2023 as part of the response to the coronavirus lockdowns. By then, it could be glaringly obvious how clever banks have been at managing risk.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Elisa Martinuzzi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering finance. She is a former managing editor for European finance at Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The family business of U.S. President Donald Trump is in informal discussions with Deutsche Bank AG about delaying some loan payments as the coronavirus forces widespread disruptions to the economy, according to a person familiar with the matter.Trump Organization representatives reached out to the Deutsche Bank’s private banking unit in New York late last month and the talks are ongoing, according to the New York Times, which reported the negotiations earlier. Deutsche Bank is having similar discussions with other commercial real estate companies in the U.S., said another person, also asking not to be identified discussing private matters.A Deutsche Bank spokesperson declined to comment. A Trump Organization spokeswoman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.The global coronavirus pandemic has forced borrowers and lenders across the globe to discuss ways to honor debts while acknowledging the enormous pressure on company bottom lines. But the request from the Trump Organization is especially delicate after Deutsche Bank decided to keep Trump’s business dealings at arms length when he took office.Washington HotelDeutsche Bank’s loans to Trump have included money for a Florida golf resort, a Washington D.C. hotel and a Chicago tower. Two of the properties are being hit by the pandemic, the New York Times said. The Doral golf resort near Miami has stopped all operations, while the Washington hotel closed its restaurant and bar, according to the newspaper.A process to sell the hotel lease has been halted amid a collapse in the commercial real estate market, the Washington Post reported.Analysts have flagged commercial real estate as a particularly vulnerable part of the economy as malls and hotels across the country have had to close. But while other companies hit by the crisis may be able to tap into a $500 billion rescue fund, the President and his family are barred from accessing that money, the New York Times said.For Deutsche Bank, the issue is further complicated because the loans, which were negotiated between 2012 and 2015, include a personal guarantee from Trump. That would put the German lender in the position of potentially having to collect from a sitting President in case of a default, Bloomberg has reported.The Trump Organization has also spoken with Palm Beach County in Florida about lease payments for a golf course the company runs, the New York Times said. The group has largely closed its golf clubs in Florida and New Jersey, and had to temporarily shut a hotel in Las Vegas, according to the paper. The Wall Street Journal reported that the outbreak is costing Trump Organization properties more than $1 million a day in revenue.The relationship between Germany’s largest lender and Trump has been under scrutiny ever since the former real estate tycoon emerged as a frontrunner for the U.S. presidency four years ago. Democrats in Congress have been seeking to subpoena documents on his dealings with the bank to shine a light on his business performance and practices before his election.Deutsche Bank’s leaders in late 2016 were so concerned about the potential public relations impact if the Trump Organization were to default that they discussed extending repayment dates until after the end of a potential second term in 2025, Bloomberg has reported. They ultimately decided against the idea and just chose not to engage in any new business with Trump while he’s in office.(Adds background on Deutsche Bank’s business with the Trump Organization throughout.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
The Trump Organization, a company owned by President Donald Trump's family, held talks with Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE: DB) and Florida county about deferring payments on existing loans and financial obligations.What Happened The coronavirus outbreak has forced the closure of some Trump Organization properties, leading to the President's company seeking relief in the form of delayed payments on loans and other financial obligations from its primary lender Deutsche Bank, according to The New York Times.The company, which owns the 300 acres Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach Florida, also engaged with Palm Beach County to ascertain if it still expected monthly payments on land the Trump Organization leases from the county for the golf club.Eric Trump, Trump's son and manager of the family business, said, "These days everybody is working together." Reflecting on the nature of the crisis, he remarked, "Tenants are working with landlords, landlords are working with banks. The whole world is working together as we fight through this pandemic."Why It Matters The Trump Organization has been hit hard by the viral pandemic. Its hotel on the Las Vegas Strip has been temporarily closed, and it has had to cut staff and services at its hotels in New York and Washington. The golf clubs in Florida and New Jersey are also shut, and so is the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida. Unlike other major hotel chains that have largely closed operations, some of the Trump Organization's businesses are open due to a total absence of government orders.The CARES Act, which bails out other companies in a similar position with monetary relief to the tune of $500 million, cannot be used by Trump's businesses as the law bars the President and his family from accessing the Treasury Department administered relief funding. Trump Organization owes relatively little compared to other real industry rivals. Deutsche Bank had lent Trump and his companies $2 billion in 1998, and at the time of being elected the president, Trump owed the German bank $350 million. Trump had previously sued Deutsche Bank for engaging in predatory lending during the 2008 financial crisis. He described the financial crisis as an "act of GOD" and claimed $3 billion when the bank tried to collect the millions owed to them.The Trump Organization's 1996 lease agreement with Palm Beah County contains clauses such as "force majeure" or "act of GOD." Country officials are exploring whether these provisions would allow the President's company to delay payments due to the pandemic. Price Action On Thursday, Deutsche Bank closed the regular session 1.09% higher at $6.02. The shares were unchanged in the after-hours session.See more from Benzinga * Speeding Train Driver Tries But Fails To Wreck US Navy Hospital Ship Mercy In LA * Detroit To Be The First City To Roll Out Abbott's 5-Minute Coronavirus Tests * Tesla Can Help With Lithium-Ion Batteries For Its Ventilators, Says ResMed's CEO(C) 2020 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Daimler said on Thursday it has signed an agreement for a 12 billion euro ($13 billion) credit line to increase its financial flexibility in the current coronavirus crisis. The credit line comes in addition to an 11 billion euro revolving credit with a term until 2025, including extension options. The new loan facility can be utilized within a 12-month period with two extension options of six months, Daimler said, adding the line was agreed with BNP, Banco Santander , Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan on April 1.
(Bloomberg) -- Amid all the economic despair in the age of coronavirus, there is still something about the promise of sky-high returns that the American investor finds irresistible.Cruise line operator Carnival Corp. proved that Wednesday when investors clamored to buy a new $4 billion bond sale that pays interest of 11.5%, one of the highest coupons ever offered, particularly by an investment-grade rated company. Demand was so frenzied -- as high as around $17 billion -- that Carnival was able to cut the coupon and increase the original size of the offering by an extra $1 billion, according to people familiar with the situation.Even with the economy spinning down, corporations around the globe have been able to tap the bond market to raise record amounts from investors in recent weeks. While executives are looking to stay liquid, investors’ confidence was buoyed by the trillions of dollars the Federal Reserve and other central banks are spending to buttress their economies.The demand for Carnival’s bonds was especially notable because investors have largely shunned riskier firms. Its business has been ravaged by the virus and investors still can’t be sure when the company will sail again. Appropriately enough, the majority of orders for Carnival’s offering are from junk-bond accounts.Yields that approach Carnival’s heights are usually seen only on the riskiest types of junk bonds, such as those issued from holding companies that are further removed from real assets or those that give borrowers the option to delay cash interest payments.A flurry of other bond deals Wednesday continued a strong performance for much of March, with 11 new investment-grade dollar deals, and T-Mobile US Inc. is marketing a potential $10 billion offering for its acquisition of Sprint Corp. Europe had 17 new deals, its busiest day since January, including Tiffany buyer LVMH and Absolut Vodka maker Pernod Ricard SA.Overall in March, U.S. investment-grade issuance topped $259 billion for a new monthly record, while European supply passed 135 billion euros ($148 billion), the most since 2016. Asia’s dollar market was quiet for most of the month, though Chinese internet search giant Baidu Inc. announced a deal to start April.Still, returns were dismal. Even with the Fed’s help fueling a late stage rally, March was still the worst month for returns since the end of 2008, with U.S. high-yield down 11.5% and investment grade dropping 7.1%. The European index lost 6.9% in March, its biggest loss ever. Spreads on top-rated Asian dollar bonds ended the first quarter 146 basis points wider, the worst blowout since 2009.“We expect issuance to continue as corporates look to bolster liquidity,” said Henrik Johnsson, co-head of capital markets at Deutsche Bank AG. “The long term effect of all this debt is hard to quantify.”U.S.Credit markets weakened with stocks on Wednesday as President Donald Trump told the U.S. to brace for one of its toughest stretches as a nation, with the death toll from the virus projected to potentially top 200,000. The high-grade borrowing bonanza showed no signs of abating with 11 companies launching $28.5 billion in new debt, meaning 36 issuers have already priced $78.8 billion this weekT-Mobile has hired banks to market its secured bond offering to investors, which may come Thursday in dollars and/or euros with maturities ranging from five to 40 yearsCarnival wrapped up its $4 billion bond sale after boosting the dollar component, dropping the euro tranche and getting a two-notch downgrade from Moody’s Investors Service on TuesdayAB InBev is testing investor demand with a four-part offering of maturities due between 10 and 40 years, capitalizing on interest lately in the long end. It sold 4.5 billion euros of bonds Monday, and may need to cut its dividend to preserve ratingsFor deal updates, click here for the New Issue MonitorOil producer Whiting Petroleum filed for bankruptcy, the first big casualty of a global collapse in crude prices that’s leaving debt-laden shale explorers struggling to surviveEuropeSeventeen deals priced Wednesday in the primary market’s busiest day for more than two months, totaling 26.8 billion euros. It follows the best-ever quarter for debt sales, with more than 510 billion euros priced, mainly reflecting huge volumes at the start of the year, and lots of reverse Yankee issuance.Borrowers including LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE and Absolut Vodka maker Pernod Ricard SA are leading a calendar set to price 26.57 billion eurosInvestors have thrown almost 100 billion euros worth of cash at today’s deals, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, led by demand for offerings from Portugal, Total Capital International SA, a euro green note offered by Spain’s Iberdrola Finanzas SA, LVMH and Pernod RicardSpreads on euro IG company bonds remain elevated but have fallen about 8 basis points from multi-year highs reached on March 24, according to a Bloomberg Barclays indexSpanish bankers and lawyers are bracing for a steep surge in insolvencies, amid the country’s rising death toll and strict lockdown measures. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has announced 117 billion euros of fiscal stimulus, but some business leaders say aspects of the government’s response risk making things worseEuropean banks may get more time to meet loss-absorbing debt targets, the euro-area’s Single Resolution Board said. It’s ready to adapt transition periods and interim targets to help them deal with the coronavirus falloutAsiaThe rebound in global bond sales in recent weeks has so far eluded Asia. After record issuance in January, sales of dollar securities by the region’s issuers, including financials and sovereigns, sputtered in the first quarter, totaling about $86 billion, up only about 3% on the year-earlier periodOne reason for that is that unprecedented stimulus from the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank has had more direct benefits in the U.S. and European marketsAnother factor is that Asian companies have been able to tap local-currency markets. Chinese companies sold a record amount of domestic bonds in March, for example, after Beijing flooded markets with cashBut there have been signs in recent days that more borrowers may offer dollar debt. Chinese tech giant Baidu Inc. was marketing an offering WednesdaySpreads on top-rated Asian dollar bonds were 10-20 basis points wider Wednesday, according to traders. They ended the first quarter 146 basis points wider, the worst blow-out in a Bloomberg Barclays index going back to 2009For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Deutsche Bank is discussing whether it will waive bonuses for its management board in 2020 due to the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. The discussion comes after the European Banking Authority on Tuesday said banks should be "conservative" in how they award bonuses to preserve capital and keep lending to an economy hit by the coronavirus outbreak. A decision hasn't been made yet but the bank is likely to result in waiving bonuses for top board members, the person said.
Deutsche Bank is discussing whether it will waive bonuses for its management board in 2020 due to the fallout from the coronavirus crisis, a person with knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday. The discussion comes after the European Banking Authority on Tuesday said banks should be "conservative" in how they award bonuses to preserve capital and keep lending to an economy hit by the coronavirus outbreak. A decision hasn't been made yet but the bank is likely to result in waiving bonuses for top board members, the person said.
A month ago, it looked like Christian Sewing had turned the corner. Two years after taking on the most difficult job in European finance, Deutsche Bank’s chief executive had overseen the closure of swaths of its lossmaking investment bank, was ahead of schedule on a €280bn balance sheet clean-up, and had stemmed a stream of misconduct fines. “Our strategy is working,” Mr Sewing said in late January, promising Deutsche would go “on the offensive” in 2020.
Deutsche Bank is set to ink a sponsorship deal with the local soccer team Eintracht Frankfurt, two people with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday. The deal, which could be announced as soon as Wednesday, sidelines Commerzbank, the team's current long-time sponsor and a top Deutsche Bank competitor. The Frankfurt-based banks, Eintracht and a spokesman for the Commerzbank Arena declined to comment.
(Bloomberg) -- German unemployment was broadly stable in March, before far-reaching restrictions on business and movement sparked thousands of furloughs in Europe’s largest labor market.The number of people out of work rose by just 1,000, significantly less than economists predicted. Germany’s federal labor agency said on Tuesday the report was processed based on data available through March 12. With large parts of the economy in lockdown, unemployment is likely to have risen more.Early estimates have also shown a spike in companies applying for state wage support, which allows businesses to reduce workers’ hours or halt production while still paying them with the help of government salary subsidies. Carmakers Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG and sports-apparel maker Puma SE are among those planning to idle tens of thousands of staff. Even financial institutions like Deutsche Bank AG are considering such moves.A report containing the latest figures on applications for state wage support is due at 2 p.m. Berlin time.Read more: Germany Pays Workers to Stay Home to Avoid a Surge in LayoffsGermany’s strong labor market was a bright spot for the economy throughout last year, propping up domestic spending when trade tensions weighed down manufacturing. While the overall jobless rate held at 5% in March -- near the lowest level since the country’s reunification -- weaker employment prospects and reduced salaries mean an important pillar of the economy could now crumble.Economic experts have warned that a recession in Germany is unavoidable. Even if most measures aimed at containing the virus are lifted in mid-May, allowing the economy to recover through the summer, output is expected to shrink by 2.8% this year, according to a report published by government advisers on Monday.(Updates with details on state wage support in third paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The global stock market rallied on Monday for the fourth time in five days. The MSCI All-Country World Index is up 15.9% since March 23, led higher by gains in the U.S. Does this mean the carnage is over? Nobody can say for sure, and for every Wall Street firm saying yes, there’s another warning that the worst is yet to come. Yet, there was a lot to like about how markets gained at the start of the week.What was most encouraging about the latest action is that it came despite a slew of news that, one would think, would be negative for riskier assets. Yes, the news out of Abbott Laboratories that it has developed a coronavirus test that can tell if someone is infected in as little as five minutes did a lot to boost sentiment. But that’s where the optimism mostly ends. Over the weekend, top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said U.S. coronavirus deaths alone could reach 200,000, prompting President Donald Trump to extend nationwide social-distancing recommendations until April 30. The deadly and widespread nature of the pandemic was hammered home with the news that a longtime senior Wall Street executive died of virus complications. Risk sentiment not only overcame that news, but also more fundamental issues such as a broad gain in the dollar and another big decline in oil prices, this time to an 18-year low. A rising dollar and plunging oil prices had contributed almost as much to the equity market sell-off in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic as the expanding virus itself. The point here is that the market rallied in the face of negative news, which many suggested would be a prerequisite for stocks to regain their footing.There’s more to it than just the dollar and oil. The equity strategists at Bloomberg Intelligence note that in recent days, “reactions to earnings downgrades and buyback suspensions also turned positive, perhaps indicating most bad news is already in the price.” More specifically, they point out that stocks of companies that pared their earnings-growth targets did better over the past week than those with a higher bar, suggesting a considerable amount of negativity is reflected in prices.” When historians looks back on the stock market during this time, it’s possible that March 30 could be seen as a pivotal moment.A RUN ON BANK LOANSBloomberg News reports that the biggest U.S. banks have been discouraging some of the safest corporate borrowers from tapping existing credit lines to see them through the coronavirus pandemic. The issue isn’t that banks don’t have the funds, but that offering revolving lines of credit to investment-grade borrowers is a low-margin business. Lenders provide the service more for relationship purposes, hoping those customers will tap the banks for more profitable work over time. Based on the latest weekly data from the Federal Reserve, this issue could potentially be a drag on bank earnings as more companies seek to ensure they have cash on hand. Commercial and industrial loans outstanding surged by $176.2 billion, or 7.41%, to $2.55 trillion in the latest weekly period, Fed data released late Friday showed. That’s by far the most in any week going back to 1973. The good news is that big lenders are perceived to be better capitalized than at any time in history, which diminishes the possibility of a bank collapse. Still, that doesn’t mean their earnings won’t take a hit. That may help explain why the KBW Bank Index’s 40.1% plunge this year is more than double that of the S&P 500 Index’s 18.7% drop.CONSUMER CUSHION?Almost everyone agrees that the U.S. economy is headed into a recession, and may already be in one. How deep and long-lasting the contraction is depends on a host of factors, not the least of which is the financial health of consumers. In that regard, the prognosis is mixed. On the downside, 25% of U.S. workers make less than $600 a week, and delinquency rates on all types of consumer loans are the highest in about six years, according to Deutsche Bank strategist Torsten Slok. Meanwhile, household borrowing accelerated to a 4.1% increase in the fourth quarter, reaching $16.15 trillion, Fed data released earlier this month showed. On the other hand, household wealth surged, rising $3.15 trillion to a record $118.4 trillion, indicating Americans were in generally healthy financial shape prior to the pandemic. Looked at another way, U.S. household debt as a percentage of disposable income has come way down since the financial crisis, falling to 96.7% from 133.6% in 2007. And in another encouraging sign, savings as a percentage of disposable income has jumped to 8.1% from 2.2% in 2005. No doubt the pandemic will take a toll on consumer finances, but the data may mean that consumers also rebound much faster than expected.EM BEATS G-10In times of crisis, markets resort to predictable patterns. That means fleeing anything viewed as risky, such as emerging market currencies, and jumping into assets deemed safe, such as the currencies of Group of 10 economies. But globalization and the rise in importance of certain developing-nation economies have made such knee-jerk reactions obsolete. Some new research from Standard Chartered strategists Ilya Gofshteyn and Steve Englander found that currencies of “good EMs” tend to outperform those of “bad G-10s” in a time of crisis, and have done so this year. They identify “good EMs” as most of the universe of major emerging-market currencies less the Turkish lira, Brazil real, South African rand, Indian rupee and Indonesian rupiah. In many ways, this makes sense. Many emerging-market economies are in much better fiscal shape than developed nations, having stockpiled dollars for the proverbial rainy day. At $3.13 trillion, the foreign-exchange reserves for the 12 largest EM economies excluding China is up from less than $2 trillion in 2009, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.TEA LEAVESA big week for U.S. economic data kicks off Tuesday when the Conference Board releases consumer confidence data for March. As with other measures of March that have already been released, this one is unlikely to be encouraging. The headline number is seen tumbling to 110 from 130.7 in February. The real number to look at, though, will be the one that looks at how consumers feel about the future. That part of the survey hadn’t reached the heights of the one that measures how consumers feel about the current situation. This may help explain the elevated savings rate noted above, as consumers socked away money for the tougher times they knew would ultimately hit even before the coronavirus. If that number fails to fall as much as the present situation reading, it could help further underpin investor sentiment on the idea that the economic rebound, when it comes, will be impressive.DON’T MISS Don’t Read Too Much Into Stocks’ Sudden Rally: Mohamed El-Erian Markets No Longer Know How to Define 'Safe': Jared Dillian Fed Lax Corporate Lending Invites Trouble: Narayana Kocherlakota How to Win Coming Battle Over U.S. National Debt: Karl Smith Junk Bonds Should Never Be Backstopped by Fed: Brian ChappattaThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Robert Burgess is an editor for Bloomberg Opinion. He is the former global executive editor in charge of financial markets for Bloomberg News. As managing editor, he led the company’s news coverage of credit markets during the global financial crisis.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The rat-a-tat of banks in the U.S. and Europe pledging not to cut jobs in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic will be a relief to those inside and outside the industry as the world economy crumbles. For many bankers, though, the respite will be no more than temporary.As governments race to prop up companies and individuals with financial aid, lenders are critical to the transmission of these policies. It will be up to them to delay mortgage and loan payments and hand out state-backed loans to millions of customers. That will determine the extent to which economies can mitigate the slump as businesses battle to survive through the lockdowns. Bank of America Corp. — at one point the target of social media ire over its customer payment terms — has moved thousands of employees to its consumer and small business units to deal with the crisis, including bringing in temporary external hires.Unlike the crisis of 2008, the stresses on markets and the economy are not of banks’ making but they could be as severe. Policymakers have rushed through stimulus and eased lenders’ capital requirements to soften the blow. As they grapple with the operational challenge of fielding a volume of customer calls running as high as 10 times normal levels, now is not the time for layoffs. As regulators have said, buybacks and dividends must go first.Yet the pressure on bank jobs and other costs won’t go away in the medium term. Even the better-placed lenders, which have prospered from the recent spike in market trading activity, will be affected by the economic carnage of the next few months. Deutsche Bank AG, which has paused staff cuts in the middle of its biggest restructuring in decades, on March 18 said the positive business momentum in the fourth quarter of 2019 — in which trading was prominent — carried over into start of 2020. Two days later, it warned it “may be materially adversely affected by a protracted downturn.”From their markets businesses to lending and commissions from investment products, analysts expect all banks to suffer a drop in revenue and an inevitable build-up of bad loans that will erode profit. Record low interest rates will keep squeezing loan margins and appetite for new investments will almost certainly remain subdued for some time.Some analysts are starting to try to asses the financial hit. A Berenberg study of 38 European and U.S. banks estimates an overall revenue decline of 8.5% in 2020 and earnings 30% below what was expected for 2020. There’s only so much policymakers can do to shield financial firms.Europe’s banks, which were struggling to generate sustainable profit even before the latest crisis, will feel most acutely the pressure to shore up capital. This will create the conditions for more mergers.The cost-to-income ratio at the region’s top banks averaged 66.9% in 2019, the highest level since the financial crisis. Return on equity, a measure of profitability, dropped to 8.7%, the lowest in three years, Bloomberg Intelligence data show. Moody’s has downgraded the credit outlook for banks across France, Italy, Spain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium to negative because the operating environment will “deteriorate significantly.” The ratings company already had negative outlooks for British and German banks.As well as the relentless squeeze on profit and costs, there’s another key factor that doesn’t bode well for bank jobs once the current environment ends: the sudden shift to digital banking during the pandemic. Banks are operating with only a fraction of their branches open, leading to a surge in online traffic that might well stick after the Covid-19 outbreak abates. One big U.K. bank saw demand for its online app more than triple to 5,000 daily downloads last week. In the U.S., Italy, France and Germany bank branches on average provide services to fewer than 3,500 inhabitants. In the Netherlands, where the banks are further along in introducing technological changes, the figure is closer to 11,000. This may well be a turning point in the desirability of local brick and mortar banks.The acceleration toward digital banking after the coronavirus “will probably be very fast,” UniCredit SpA Chief Executive Officer Jean Pierre Mustier told Bloomberg Television on Monday. Smaller banks in particular will have to adapt quickly. As economies implode under lockdowns affecting more than one-third of the world’s population, banks are in demand like never before. That won’t last.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Elisa Martinuzzi is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering finance. She is a former managing editor for European finance at Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Jamal Al Kishi, Deutsche Bank AG’s chief executive officer for the Middle East and Africa, has quit to join Bahrain-based Gulf International Bank BSC.Al Kishi, who had been with the German lender since 2007, will become CEO of GIB’s parent company and deputy group CEO, the bank said in a statement.Headquartered in Bahrain, GIB is almost fully owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund. It also has operations in the U.K., U.S. and the United Arab Emirates, according to its website.Al Kishi is leaving Deutsche Bank as the lender puts on hold plans to cut almost 18,000 jobs over the next three years because of the coronavirus outbreak. The layoffs were part of a restructuring to restore the bank to profitability after half a decade of losses.The bank is in the process of appointing a replacement for Al Kishi and will make an announcement soon, it said in an internal memo seen by Bloomberg. A spokesman for Deutsche Bank declined to comment.Deutsche Bank’s Middle East operations have recently suffered a number of several high profile departures. Its CEO for Saudi Arabia left last year to become the head of international investments at Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding Co., while Faisal Rahman, co-head of corporate and investment banking for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, left after almost 18 years in 2018 to join SoftBank Group Corp.(Updates with Deutsche plans to find a replacement for Al Kishi in fifth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Deutsche Bank AG became the latest bank to halt plans for widescale layoffs, joining lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc in putting thousands of job cuts on hold because of the coronavirus outbreak.“To avoid additional emotional distress in the current environment, we will defer new communications of individual restructuring actions to potentially affected employees,” the Frankfurt-based bank said in a memo to staff seen by Bloomberg. “The pause will be in place until we see a return to greater stability in the world around us.”Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing last summer announced plans to cut almost 18,000 jobs over the next three years as part of a huge restructuring to restore the bank to profitability after half a decade of losses. The lender is exiting equities sales and trading and reducing its key fixed income business as part of Sewing’s plans to compete where it has a top 5 position. Sewing, who is suspending the dividend to help pay for the reorganization, has already reduced the workforce by about 4,000.“Deutsche Bank is in a tough spot,” Berenberg analysts led by Eoin Mullany wrote in a note on Wednesday prior to the staff memo. Carrying out the restructuring according to plan “in the middle of the COVID-19 situation is incredibly difficult.”Sewing has tried to reassure employees and investors of the bank’s resilience during the outbreak, saying earlier this month that business so far this year continued the positive trend of the fourth quarter. The price of Deutsche Bank’s credit default swaps had fallen to a multi-year low ahead of the virus outbreak, while shares had rallied, as investors were beginning to see progress in the turnaround.The German lender said in the memo it remains committed to its transformation and cost targets, and that it will allocate resources “to our most critical projects and regulatory commitments to ensure we remain on track.”Deutsche Bank’s announcement comes shortly after several other lenders including HSBC Holdings Plc, Credit Suisse Group AG and Morgan Stanley said they are pausing job reductions. Most cited the current economic hardship brought on by the virus crisis.Read more: Thousands of Bankers Get a Break as HSBC, Lloyds Vow No Cuts“I don’t think it’s in this kind of situation that we’re going to announce restructuring measures,” Societe Generale CEO Frederic Oudea said at a conference last week. “There is a question of decency.”Deutsche Bank said in the memo it will complete all discussions with individual staff about layoffs that have already been initiated. The vast majority of those discussions have been signed and are near finalization, it said.As it grapples with the coronavirus crisis, Deutsche Bank is also considering joining government-funded program that allows companies to put workers on shorter hours without a deep cut to their pay. The lender told staff it will give an update on its progress when the company reports first-quarter earnings late next month.(Updates with comment from Societe Generale CEO in seventh paragraph)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
German lender Deutsche Bank AG is pausing future job cuts to give employees additional certainty during the coronavirus outbreak, a company spokesman said on Thursday. Deutsche Bank will continue restructuring talks and will not replace most of its voluntary leavers, according to the statement. The pause in the company's future job cuts was reported earlier by Bloomberg News.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s hard to imagine sentiment being any worse than it was coming into this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 35% from its high for the year in February, and more than a few Wall Street strategists were calling for a drop of 50% or more before it was over. What a difference a few days make. The benchmark briefly entered a (technical) bull market on Thursday, rising 20% over the course of three days from its lows on Monday. False rallies are a hallmark of bear markets, and this could be one of those, but this turnaround has one big thing going for it. Rather the some sudden confidence in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic and a subsequent quick rebound in the economy and corporate profits, much of the recovery in stocks can be tied to the dollar. As equities have soared the past three days, the Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, has tumbled some 3.78% from a record high after surging 8.91% the previous two weeks. Considered a haven, it’s not unusual for the dollar to strengthen in times of crisis. The problem is, the global financial system is tied to the dollar like never before, and its appreciation causes financial conditions around the world to tighten. The most visible example is in the debt markets, with the Institute of International Finance estimating that emerging-market borrowers alone have $8.3 trillion of foreign-currency debt, the bulk of it in dollars, up more than $4 trillion from a decade ago. So, any rise in the dollar makes it that much more expensive for these borrowers to make interest payments or refinance, which would only exacerbate the deep recession already facing the global economy. Much of the dollar’s recent weakness can be tied to one key move by the Federal Reserve to ease the run on the U.S. currency. What the Fed did was provide foreign-exchange swap lines with central banks in both developed and emerging markets, offering dollars in exchange for their currencies. The dollar “may now become a barometer of the efficacy of the policy response to corporate credit difficulties, interbank funding challenges, etc.,” Standard Chartered currency strategists Eric Robertson and Steve Englander wrote in a research note. “Global policy makers have adopted a ‘whatever it takes’ approach to countering financial-market volatility and the expected recession, but this response may also need to have an impact on the (dollar) to be seen as truly effective.”THE ‘SMART MONEY’ BELIEVESThere’s a school of thought on Wall Street that trading in the first 30 minutes after equity markets open represents emotions, driven by greed and fear of the crowd based on news, as well as a lot of trades based on previously set-up market orders. The “smart money,” though, waits until the end of trading to place big bets, when there is less “noise.” This action is what the Smart Money Flow Index tries to capture as it relates to the Dow. What’s encouraging is that this gauge has just risen back to pre-crisis levels, suggesting big institutions are more confident that perhaps equities have reached fair value. It’s also notable that Deutsche Bank AG equity strategist Binky Chadha, who called the S&P 500 Index’s surge higher in 2019, then pivoted to forecast no gain at all in 2020 before the coronavirus crisis hit, is turning more bullish — or at least less negative. Chadha just boosted his recommended equity allocation to “neutral” from “underweight,” according to Bloomberg News’s Joanna Ossinger. Among the main reasons for his shift, Chadha pointed out that equities’ peak-to-bottom decline was in line with historical patterns and that positioning was at a record low. BRING IT ONUsually it could be a warning sign when demand soars at an auction of U.S. Treasury securities. After all, Treasuries are the ultimate haven asset, and a rush into them may signal tough times ahead for the economy. So how should Thursday’s auction of $32 billion of seven-year notes be interpreted? Investors bid for 2.76 times the amount offered, the highest so-called bid-to-cover ratio since the height of the European debt crisis in 2012 and a big jump from the 2.49 times at last month’s sale. Yes, there is still a lot of concern about the future of the economy, but perhaps the jump in demand signals that the government will have no problems selling as much debt as needed to fund the $2 trillion rescue package. There’s even evidence of optimism in the corporate bond market, where the cost to insure investment-grade company debt from default has fallen for four consecutive days to the lowest since March 6. It has fallen three days for junk bonds. Not only that, Bloomberg News reports 34 issuers in the U.S. and Europe were in the market selling debt on Thursday, making it the busiest day in months. They wouldn’t be selling if there was no demand.COMMODITIES AS THE OUTLIERThe market for raw materials doesn’t seem to have received the memo. Some investors feel there won’t be a real recovery in markets until oil prices begin to rise, bolstering the cash flow of many U.S. energy firms that are now in jeopardy of defaulting after West Texas Intermediate crude plunged from more than $60 a barrel in January to as low as about $20 this month before trading at $22.78 Thursday. And it’s not just oil. Bloomberg Economics notes that metals consumption moves closely in line with global gross domestic product growth. As a result, the economists note that metals prices can provide a high-frequency guide to the ups and downs in the economy. “The fit is so strong that Bloomberg Economics uses the S&P GSCI Metals Price Index in our global GDP nowcast,” Tom Orlik and Niraj Shah wrote in a research note Thursday. “A 13% drop in the index since the start of March shows markets pricing in a sharp decline in activity.”TEA LEAVESThe news out of Italy has been grim. The nation reported the most coronavirus infections in the last five days on Thursday, even after weeks of rigid lockdown rules. The civil protection agency reported 6,153 new cases on Thursday, bringing confirmed cases there to 80,539, which is a level approaching China’s. On Friday, we’ll get some sense of what this is doing to consumer confidence when data for March is released. The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg is for a drop to 100.4, which would be the lowest since December 2014 from 111.5 in February. Such measures will likely gain in importance in the months ahead because market optimists are banking on consumer confidence rebounding quickly once the coronavirus pandemic slows. But no one knows when that will be and whether consumers will have the confidence — or the resources — to go about life as they did before Covid-19.DON’T MISS What More Could the Federal Reserve Possibly Do? A Lot: Tim Duy Euro-Zone Rescue Talks Are Irrelevant: Ferdinando Giugliano We Can’t Dismiss This Rebound as a Reflex Action: John Authers Dollar Crunch Is Europe’s Gift to Asia: Gopalan and Mukherjee Matt Levine’s Money Stuff: Nobody Wants a Margin Call Right NowThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Robert Burgess is an editor for Bloomberg Opinion. He is the former global executive editor in charge of financial markets for Bloomberg News. As managing editor, he led the company’s news coverage of credit markets during the global financial crisis.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Deutsche Bank is for the first time considering asking its German staff to cut their hours and take government money instead as it tries to navigate the coronavirus crisis. After years of losses, Germany's biggest bank has been trying to engineer an overhaul that includes pulling back from some of its international operations, but its recovery plan and share price have been hit hard by the pandemic. It has been widely used by industry, including Germany's car sector, but not by banks.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Banks in Asia are suddenly shy to part with dollars. And who can blame them? Many of their corporate clients are borrowing the U.S. currency and depositing it with the same banks — just in case they can’t get the funding when they need it. The caution amid the coronavirus outbreak isn’t all that different from Amazon.com Inc. trying to discourage vendors from cornering toilet paper supplies. “Corporate banks are becoming a bit more discretionary about permitting draws on credit lines where hoarding cash is the sole objective,” according to Greenwich Associates consultant Gaurav Arora. The dollar squeeze is evident, as one of us wrote Monday, in the hefty premiums South Korean banks must fork out to borrow the U.S. currency — a reliable indicator of trouble in the past. It also appears that China’s banks may be less eager or able than before to fund the dollar needs of their corporate borrowers, Bloomberg Opinion’s Anjani Trivedi noted Wednesday.For Asia, the crunch is an unwanted gift from European lenders, whose departure from the region post-2008, as well as regulations that reined in Wall Street firms, have led to a funding hole. Japan’s banks have expanded and lenders like BNP Paribas SA have scaled up trade finance, but they’re yet to fill the void, especially as troubled Deutsche Bank AG shrinks. The German lender was in the top five corporate banks in Asia in 2014; last year, it wasn’t even in the top 10, according to Greenwich. Some countries like Korea have felt the loss more keenly than others. U.K. banks’ exposure to Korea has dwindled to $77 billion from $104 billion in the first quarter of 2008. German lenders’ claims have fallen to $13 billion from $36 billion.Japan’s lenders have taken up part of the slack. Driven by negative interest rates and aging demographics at home, they have dished out funds aggressively in Southeast Asia as well as to global deal-chasing clients like SoftBank Group Corp. The large U.S. operations of megabanks like Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. also provide them with liquidity, as does their stack of fully convertible, cheap yen deposits. But some Japanese lenders have piled into off-balance sheet products, which suck liquidity in times of stress. Japan's Norinchukin Bank, a lender to farmers and fisherman, was one of the world’s largest buyers last year of collateralized loan obligations, bundled U.S. leveraged loans.When the Fed extended emergency swap lines to South Korea, Australia, Singapore and New Zealand last week to ease the worldwide dollar shortage, a step that our colleague Shuli Ren called for here, it was a sign that the liquidity problem was serious enough. Overall, the Fed gave temporary access to nine authorities in addition to the five that it has permanent arrangements with for making dollars available.(2) Emerging economies like India, Indonesia, Chile and Peru, though, have seen their requests for swap lines rebuffed in the past. The U.S. only helps those it sees as important to the stability of its own banking system.So what can Asia do? Start with the most extreme case. Australia needs U.S. dollar funding not just for foreign-currency loans but also for Australian dollar mortgages. That’s because the domestic deposit base is small, compared with the size of the banking industry. The average loan-to-deposit ratio of Macquarie Bank Ltd. and other major Australian lenders was 126% versus 68% for the top Asian banks, namely DBS Group Holdings Ltd., Mizuho Financial Group Inc., MUFG, Standard Chartered Plc, and HSBC Holdings Plc, according to banking analyst Daniel Tabbush, founder of Tabbush Report.Offshore funding sustains around one-third of major Australian banks' total worldwide operations. While the International Monetary Fund and others have flagged the reliance on foreigners as problematic, the Australian regulators have so far refrained from discouraging lenders to borrow abroad. Yet, the fact that the country had to seek dollars from the Fed during the epidemic upheaval and auction them to its banks will call into question the sagacity of this relaxed approach. In rest of Asia, one lesson from the dollar squeeze is to shun protectionism. Well-capitalized regional banks like Singapore’s DBS could supplement the three traditionally entrenched foreign lenders: HSBC, StanChart, and Citigroup Inc., a big cash management bank for Western multinationals. DBS could emerge as an Asian global bank, though in good times its expansion has been stymied by regulators playing to nationalist political sentiment, as we saw when it wasn’t allowed to buy Indonesia’s PT Bank Danamon in 2013.The next step may be to seek more intermediaries with scale. JPMorgan Chase & Co. is pumping top dollar into serving corporate treasuries as a safeguard against the fickle fortunes of investment banking. Japan’s lenders could also do more: MUFG is already one of the region’s most aggressive lenders and has the historical advantage of having a dollar clearing license, like HSBC. Unlike 2008, this isn’t a credit contagion yet, though that could change if large, messy financial bankruptcies were to erupt. But beyond the current crisis, the regulators must plan for the next squeeze. Since not everyone can rely on the Fed, the dollar supply chain is each country’s responsibility. At least until a credible alternative to the U.S. currency comes along. (1) The standing facilities are with the Bank of Japan, the Bank of England, the Bank of Canada, the Swiss National Bank and the European Central Bank.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Nisha Gopalan is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals and banking. She previously worked for the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones as an editor and a reporter.Andy Mukherjee is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering industrial companies and financial services. He previously was a columnist for Reuters Breakingviews. He has also worked for the Straits Times, ET NOW and Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.