With Deutsche Bank stock plunging to fresh all time lows in early trading after Merkel reportedly ruled out state aid the embattled German lender, the bank found itself in the unenviable position of once again having to defend its balance sheet to avoid further stock price declines, especially as doubts mounted if the German government response was due to a pre-emptive request for aid. DB quickly tried to squash such speculation when a bank spokesman said that "CEO John Cryan at no point asked the German Chancellor for the government to intervene in the U.S. Justice Department's mortgages case."
He added that Deutsche Bank will solve its problems without relying on help from Berlin, Germany's flagship lender said on Monday.
The market remains unconvinced: shares in Germany's biggest bank hit a record low of 10.62 euros on Monday...
... with its default risk once again spiking.
Naturally, DB had no option but to project confidence: "Deutsche Bank is determined to resolve its challenges on its own," the spokesman said. "There is currently no question of a capital increase. We are meeting all regulatory requirements," the spokesman added. Cryan and Merkel met in July to discuss Brexit repercussions but did not touch on the matter of potential help with U.S. legal proceedings, a person close to the matter said according to Reuters.
That said, the sellside suspects that a new capital raise appears inevitable. Analysts at Mediobanca said that a rights issue looked inevitable. "John Cryan always said that a rights issue would only be triggered by a larger-than expected litigation charge and it appears increasingly likely that Deutsche Bank investors will be asked to post bail for Deutsche's past crimes," they said in note on Monday.
Meanwhile, the defense continued after Jorg Eigendorf, head of communications at Deutsche Bank told CNBC, that Deutsche bank liquidity position is very comfortable, adding that the credit portfolio is very strong, while the "liquidity position very comfortable, third quarter almost over and I can tell you that we are fine and very comfortable here.”
Touching on the stock price, Eigendorf said that the “share price is low but that is not what is worrying us and that is not what we are looking at. What is really important to us is our credit story which is very strong, it is fundamentally strong.”
If only the market agreed.
But perhaps the most sober - and realistic - assessment came from Andreas Utermann, Allianz Global Investors’ chief investment officer, who said on BBG TV that Germany would ultimately help out a struggling Deutsche Bank: "I don’t buy at all what’s coming out of Germany in terms of Germany not wanting to step in ultimately if Deutsche Bank was really in trouble."
"Deutsche Bank is “too important for the German economy.” The bank’s tussle with the U.S. Department of Justice over a potential $14 billion legal settlement is “a political issue which will get resolved at a lower price,” he said in an interview with Francine Lacqua and Tom Keene on Monday.
The only question is just how will Germany, which has been so staunchly against an Italian bailout of its own insolvent banks, will i) pass such a deal with popular sentiment strongly against more bank bailouts and ii) what will a bailout look like: with €162 billion in debt and only €17 billion in equity, the government check would be substantial. And that, of course, excludes the €42 trillion in gross notional exposure which few if any have been willing to discuss in recent weeks.