Deutsche Bank tests investor patience with $8.5 billion cash call

Mon Mar 6, 2017 1:16pm EST
 
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By Andreas Kröner, John O'Donnell and Georgina Prodhan

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank's (DBKGn.DE: Quote) chief executive pledged on Monday to see through a strategic turnaround as he sought to persuade weary shareholders to sign an 8 billion euro ($8.5 billion) cheque to back his plans.

"I'm 100 percent or more committed to seeing through the plans" John Cryan told analysts, as the bank's shares sank and some expressed concerns the one proud flagship of the German economy on Wall Street had lost its way.

Hefty legal penalties including for the sale of toxic U.S. mortgage debt have hit Deutsche Bank hard and even prompted speculation last year, which was denied by the bank, that it needed a government bailout.

Germany's biggest lender had previously said it would wait until global bank capital rules were finalised before setting out how it intends to turn its business around, while Cryan had said a cash call was a last resort.

But with regulators delaying the so-called Basel rules and markets buoyant, Deutsche opted on Sunday for a capital hike and also announced plans to float part of its asset management arm.

While the German government welcomed the cash call, the fourth such request since 2010, it left some investors wondering whether this was the last time they would be tapped and shares in Deutsche Bank fell almost 8 percent.

It puts Deutsche Bank on course to have raised more than its entire 26 billion euro market value in the past roughly seven years, according to Reuters' calculations.

"Deutsche Bank has a history of switching strategy and seldom delivered what they promised," one of the bank's top shareholders said, while another called the lender's strategy "confused". Both spoke on condition of anonymity.   Continued...

 
The head quarters of Germany's Deutsche Bank are photographed early evening in Frankfurt, Germany, January 31, 2017.  REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach