Debt Assurances

Code Red at Deutsche Bank

ARCHIV - Die Türme der Deutschen Bank ragen neben einer roten Ampel in den nächtlichen Himmel in Frankfurt am Main, aufgenommen am 26.11.2003. Die Deutsche Bank erwartet wegen gigantischer Abschreibungen für das dritte Quartal einen Rekordverlust und stimmt auf weitere Belastungen ein. Unter dem Strich dürfte ein Minus von 6,2 Milliarden Euro stehen, wie der Frankfurter Dax-Konzern überraschend am 07.10.2015 ankündigte. Foto: Arne Dedert/dpa +++(c) dpa - Bildfunk+++
Deutsche Bank was forced late Monday to reassure investors that it had enough money on hand to service its debt. [M] Arne Dedert/dpa
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Deutsche Bank is facing a vicious cycle of share sell-offs and increasing concerns that the bank will not be able to pay off its debts.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Deutsche Bank on Monday said it had €1 billion in cash reserves and €4.3 billion for 2017 to pay off interest owed to bondholders.
    • The bank owes holders of so-called CoCo bonds €350 million by April this year.
    • CoCo bonds are a new form of debt, created since the financial crisis, that can be converted into shares if a bank’s reserves fall below a level set by regulators.
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    Audio

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On the face of it, it was a rather banal statement. Deutsche Bank on Monday night announced it had “sufficient” cash on hand to pay interest on bonds due this year and in 2017.

And yet, the fact that Germany’s largest bank had to issue such an assurance speaks volumes about the frayed nerves of its shareholders, and of its embattled management led by Co-Chief Executive John Cryan.

The Frankfurt-based bank became the largest lender in at least four years to have issued such a statement assuring bondholders it can pay its debts, according to the news agency Bloomberg.

The statement came after another awful start to the new week. Shares closed down 9.5 percent at €13.82 on Monday, marking yet another record low for the German banking champion.

Shares renewed their decline on Tuesday, falling another 3 percent in the afternoon and prompting Mr. Cryan to once again double down on his assurances that all was well at the bank’s twin-tower headquarters.

“Deutsche Bank remains absolutely rock-solid, given our strong capital and risk position,” Mr. Cryan who has been in charge of the bank for just seven months, wrote in a letter to employees that was published on the bank’s website.

To be sure, European banking stocks have been hit across the board. The STOXX Europe banking index fell more than 5 percent Monday and has lost nearly a quarter of its value since the start of this year as many investors fear record low interest rates and slowing global growth are weighing on financial sector profits.

But Deutsche Bank, as has been the case for most of this year, led the declines. The bank’s share price has plummeted nearly 40 percent since the start of 2016 and is down about 55 percent over the last six months, since Mr. Cryan took charge.

 

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