From the latest edition of Konzept, Deutsche’s spiffy new monthly magazine:
Much bank reporting has now become so complex it has spiralled out of all control and meaning. Last year’s annual report and accounts for UBS, for example, ran to 868 pages. That is more than a threefold increase on the Swiss bank’s 2006 annual report. What is more, the calculations behind many bank disclosures these days are opaque and mostly useless to an outsider because they are deeply technical. Even professional equity analysts struggle to understand disclosures running across the whole range of banking businesses, from traditional asset and liability management to trading book and operational risk, including different methodologies for valuation, provisioning and so on.
The length of Deutsche’s 2014 annual report? 610 pages.
Deutsche Bank’s annual study of defaults has landed. Thoughts on how the next cycle for corporate borrowers might be affected by flatter yields curves below, but first a reminder of just how little money has been lost to bad debts since 2009.
We can’t overstate how low overall defaults are. The 2010- 2014 cohort is the lowest 5-year period for HY defaults in modern history (quality adjusted). To protect for default risk in BB and Single-B rated bonds over this period, investors would have only required 27bps and 94bps respectively. Current EUR/USD BB spreads are 301/350bps and Single-Bs 598/527bps. Indeed in CDS, Crossover now has 10 full years of default history. The peak 5 year default period was the 12% seen in Series 8-10 (late 2007 to late 2013). Relative to its ratings, average default risk for this index should now be around 20%. So this reiterates that recent history and average history in default terms remain remarkably far apart.
Deutsche Bank has long been an unloved stock.
Not only does it trade stubbornly below book-value, a bleak revenue outlook in January led to the promise of a major strategy rethink for the group, including the prospect of job cuts, asset sales and the streamlining of investment banking divisions.
Among options on the table is a sale of the group’s Postbank retail business — a division it acquired in 2008 in the hope of bringing deposit funding to the aid of its investment banking arm. Read more
A chart, from Deutsche, of the global pool of funds in 2014:
It’s from their annual Random Walk through the world’s financial markets. The top line: Read more
Bank “trading” is all about flow. And in Europe there has never been a bigger flow monster than Deutsche Bank.
But as has been well reported, FICC flow profits are beginning to wane.
So it is with some interest we note the following charts from Morgan Stanley’s European Banking team: Read more
Is it because Deutsche Bank’s staff really didn’t want to offend any future employers? Selling a €6.3bn rights issue is not easy, but a group of 25 underwriters does suggest a certain lack of discernment.
Although that is fewer than four years ago, when Deutsche hired 32 of the 35 banks interested. (Who were the lonely three, we wonder?) According to the International Financing Review, those that did not deliver have missed out this time in the industry game of reciprocity. Read more
Gather round nerds, and hear the tale of Deutsche Bank’s mysterious new CoCo bonds.
It’s a tale that involves an €8bn capital raising anchored by the Qataris, some German accounting standards and one terrible cereal-based pun. Read more
Forget PPP-adjusted GDP. Deutsche Bank is trying to make international currency comparisons sexy with its Cheap Date index, part of its annual look at global price trends.
How much does it cost to take your loved one out? DB’s statistics wonks probably aren’t getting any, judging by the way they construct their index, which involves a date at McDonald’s and doesn’t even include flowers:
We have defined the “cheap date” as follows: cab rides, McDonalds burgers, soft drink, two movie tickets, and a couple of beers. Please note that in our last update we had included sending a bouquet of roses in the activities for a date. This year we have removed it as it was skewing the comparison.
File that excuse away; it might be useful next Valentine’s Day.
The index shows London as the most expensive place for a cheap date. True cheapskates should take their paramour to India: Read more
Here’s a quick update on returns in April and the year so far, courtesy of Jim Reid at Deutsche Bank.
A few surprises: British stocks were the place to be in April, while Greek shares did worse than Russian shares – at least in local currency terms. (Click chart to enlarge)
Euromoney reports on Wednesday that Citigroup is attempting to revive “leveraged super seniors,” a type of synthetic CDO not seen seen the financial crisis. We take a (no doubt unhealthy) interest in all things LSS, given our previous experience helping out on this series of Financial Times stories. The stories involved three former Deutsche Bank staff who blew the whistle on the way the German bank was allegedly valuing so-called “gap risk” on $130bn worth of LSS of trades. Read more
You’ve got to admire the audacity of Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, BofA Merrill Lynch and Citi: they’ve agreed to underwrite the £5.8bn Barclays rights issue, pitched at 185p on a 1-for-4 basis. Read more
A new word to you? Yes, well, we were searching for a suitable adjective to describe this:
20 June 2013
Tullett Prebon plc
Statement in relation to court proceedings
Spare a moment for Felix Vulis, chief executive of embattled miner ENRC. At pixel time, Kleinmanwire was reporting (exclusively, obvs) that both Deutsche Bank and Morgan Stanley have resigned as brokers to ENRC.
In the middle of a possible takeover bid and a very real SFO investigation… Read more
The WSJ has news: “Bank Made Huge Bet, and Profit, on Libor“. The bank in question being Deutsche. The huge bet and profit being in 2008 on a bunch of rates trades.
Of course other banks did and do trade rates, in size, but let’s cut straight to the WSJ graphic… Read more
Debates about asset valuation can quickly turn philosophical. The FT’s story on Deutsche Bank on Thursday provides fresh fodder, carrying allegations from three ex-employees that the bank failed to properly value certain credit derivative positions and thereby created a misleading impression of its health.
At first we thought, ‘umm, yeah, Deutsche Bank and others, no?’ But the mention of Berkshire Hathaway seemed an interesting twist. Read more
Deutsche Bank failed to recognise up to $12bn of paper losses during the financial crisis, helping the bank avoid a government bail-out, three former bank employees have alleged in complaints to US regulators.
That’s from a story by the FT’s Tom Braithwaite, Kara Scannell and Michael Mackenzie. Citing those ever-dependable people familiar with the matter, it seems three individual Deutsche staff went separately to the SEC in 2010 and 2011. What’s the collective noun for “whistleblowers.” Read more
warning update from Deutsche Bank on Tuesday (flashes via Reuters):
DEUTSCHE BANK AG PROVIDES PRELIMINARY UPDATE ON SECOND QUARTER 2012 RESULTS: COSTS IMPACTED BY CURRENCY MOVEMENTS Read more
Just in case the real trophies never get cast, here are the advisers to the
$90 $80 $70 $60 $55(?)bn putative merger between Glencore and Xstrata. Click to enlarge.
First there was the foul-up over competition issues. Unbelievably, Glenstrata had not factored in the likelihood of a referral to the European authorities. Read more
Arguably THE banking factoid of the year, by way of Espirito Santo’s review of Thursday’s Deutsche Bank conference call (see bold):
The conference call provided the first clear indication from management that reduced capital allocated to trading operations is impacting trading revenues in the IB. This has been a strong theme that we have highlighted to clients, which first arose as a concern in 4Q11. Read more
Choose your story.
From the WSJ just after 4pm London time: Read more
Deutsche Bank, whose chief executive decried the stigma of tapping ECB three-year liquidity last month, has borrowed at least €5bn and as much as €10bn from the latest LTRO, the FT reports. Investors briefed by the bank’s finance director and investor relations executives say it was persuaded by the economics of the financing to abandon its concerns. Josef Ackermann had said that Deutsche was “loathe to give up” its reputation for never having taken government money. ECB president Mario Draghi revealed on Wednesday that 460 of 800 banks that funded from the February LTRO were German.
The auction process to sell Deutsche Bank Asset Management is faltering after JPMorgan and State Street withdrew from the bidding, making it more likely the bank will have to break up the business as part of a prolonged sale of the assets. Deutsche Bank had raced ahead with the sale process in the past week, narrowing interest from a wide range of potential bidders to a shortlist of a half a dozen, before the leading contenders withdrew. Ameriprise, another candidate to buy the business, is baulking at the price and could soon withdraw, the FT says, citing people familiar with the situation.
Every government needs a thick slice of luck, and this week’s has come as Chris Huhne slid off the political road into the ditch. Ed Davey has a golden chance to drive away from an energy policy which might have been designed to make energy expensive and electricity unreliable. This deadly combination might be called the Windmill Solution to oil and coal dependency, and the former Energy Secretary spent his last months flailing around like a demented turbine trying to make the numbers add up.
While Huhne was tilting at windmills, the energy game has been changed utterly by the emergence of shale gas. This rapidly emerging technology promises relatively cheap and abundant natural gas for at least the next two decades. It has already broken the link between oil and gas prices. It promises to turn the US into an energy exporter, and remove the dependency on Russian gas for the states on its borders. Read more
Deutsche Bank has risked a clash with the European Central Bank by indicating it sees a stigma attached to the long-term help offered to banks to try to ease the eurozone’s funding crisis reports the FT. Josef Ackermann, chief executive, made clear that Deutsche might not take up the ECB’s next offer of unlimited three-year loans because it might be seen as tantamount to government aid that could damage the bank’s reputation. Mr Ackermann said Deutsche had not taken part in December and was reluctant to be seen as needing help. “The fact that we have never taken any money from the government has made us, from a reputational point of view, so attractive to so many clients in the world that we would be very reluctant to give that up,” Mr Ackermann told analysts on Thursday. Mr Ackermann also said: “I’m normally not a friend of carry trades and I don’t think we would borrow money to buy sovereign risks even if there is an attractive spread.”
Deutsche Bank dropped to a fourth-quarter pre-tax loss after the crisis in the eurozone dragged down its trading and investment banking earnings, the FT reports. Germany’s largest bank by assets said revenues for the quarter were down 7 per cent to €6.9bn from the record fourth quarter of 2010. Net income of €186m, down from €605m a year ago, was helped by a €537m tax gain. Quarterly revenues from Deutsche’s private client and asset management division outstripped those from the corporate and investment bank, highlighting the turbulent trading conditions and the bank’s attempt to rebalance towards more stable earnings from retail banking. Revenues from debt sales and trading, normally the engine room of the bank, sank by 35 per cent while equity sales and trading revenues dropped 38 per cent year-on-year in the quarter. The bank’s corporate banking and securities division, which houses sales and trading as well as its advisory businesses, posted a €422m quarterly pre-tax loss, including €380m of charges related to lawsuits.
Macquarie Group, Australia’s biggest investment bank, is vying with at least three companies to buy asset-management divisions from Deutsche Bank, Bloomberg reports, citing two people with knowledge of the matter. The deadline for second-round offers is next week, and the German lender aims to reach an agreement by mid-March, the report says. Other bidders are said to include JPMorgan, State Street and Ameriprise Financial.
Deutsche Bank is preparing to launch a fund to snap up investors’ illiquid or damaged holdings in hedge funds that have failed to recover since the financial crisis, the FT reports, citing people familiar with the launch. The fund, which Deutsche is launching in partnership with New York-based Rosebrook Capital, will set out to raise $500m The bank estimates that, three years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, investors are sitting on between $80bn and $100bn of hard-to-sell hedge fund assets that could prove lucrative in the coming years. Big opportunities are being created by financial regulations such as Basel II and Solvency III, which are making banks and insurance companies forced sellers of problem assets.
Major fallers across the continent (NOT just the banking sector):
Fitch Ratings has cut its long-term ratings for seven major banks in Europe and the US, warning that big financial institutions “are particularly sensitive to the increased challenges the financial markets face”, the FT reports. BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank both had their long-term issuer default rating downgraded by one notch to A plus, while Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs were downgraded from A plus to A. Barclays and Credit Suisse were downgraded by two notches to A, Fitch announced on Thursday evening. “Over time market conditions are likely to ease, but Fitch expects market volatility to remain above historical averages and economic growth in developed markets to remain subdued for a prolonged period. This makes many business lines in securities operations more difficult, due to lower activity and higher funding costs,” said Fitch, the smallest of the three major rating agencies.