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‘Rock solid’ Deutsche Bank shares slide 5%

February 10, 2016

Shares in Deutsche Bank continued to fall on Tuesday, despite assurances from the bank that its balance sheet was “rock solid”.

The bank’s shares in Frankfurt closed 5% lower, despite a statement from the bank that it had sufficient reserves to make bond payments.

On Monday, shares slumped 9.5% and have fallen more than 40% this year.

Earlier, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he had “no concerns” about the bank.

He was speaking to journalists after a meeting in Paris.

On Tuesday, the bank’s co-chief executive John Cryan, sent a message to all staff in which he assured them the bank was in a strong financial position, despite global growth fears, low oil and other commodity prices, and the fact that the bank would be booking write-downs in its fourth quarter.

He said that while the stock markets had “expressed some concern about the adequacy of our legal provisions”, he did not “share that concern”.

“We will almost certainly have to add to our legal provisions this year, but this is already accounted for in our financial plan,” he said.

Mr Cryan added: “Volatility in the fourth quarter impacted the earnings of most major banks, especially those in Europe, and clients may ask you about how the market-wide volatility is impacting Deutsche Bank.”

He said staff at the bank could tell customers concerned about investing with the bank that “Deutsche Bank remains absolutely rock-solid, given our strong capital and risk position”.

The email to staff, made publicly available via the bank’s official Twitter account, is an unusual step.

It follows Monday’s statement to investors in which the bank stated its 2016 payment capacity was estimated to be about €1bn (£783m), sufficient to pay so-called additional tier 1 (AT1) coupons of approximately €350m on 30 April.

Such statements are rare and illustrate the level of fear currently stalking the markets.

In recent weeks, bank stocks have suffered heavy losses, with traders citing concerns about the level of exposure some banks may have to commodity and oil company debt, amid a desire among some mining and oil firms to maintain dividend payments even if they have to borrow to do so.

The bank is also the subject of takeover speculation in German media, given the low value of its share price. Deutsche Bank has had negative press for years now amid a series of scandals and litigation. It chalked up a record loss of €6.8bn last year.

Fears that banks do not have the financial reserves to cope with a major oil or commodities company reneging on its debt payments were reflected in European stock markets on Tuesday, with banking stocks and commodities firms under particular pressure in afternoon trade across all the major European indexes.

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