Deutsche Bank shares are stuttering on Thursday, despite investor fears about the potential collapse of Germany’s biggest bank dissipating.
Shares have rallied more than 20% in less than one week, but on Thursday are just in negative territory, falling around 0.4% as of 12:15 p.m. BST (7:15 a.m. ET).
Deutsche Bank’s shares had been hit in the past few weeks after reports that the US Department of Justice is planning to hit the bank with a $14 billion (£11 billion , €12.4 billion) fine for misselling mortgage-backed securities in the run-up to the financial crisis.
That fine is almost as big as the bank’s market value and led to fears late last week that Germany may have to bail out the bank, something Berlin denied.
However, the bank has bounced back in the markets, with shares gaining on Friday last week, Tuesday, and Wednesday. In early trade, the company’s stock hit €12.38, its highest level since September 16. That extended the near 3% rise shares saw in trade on Wednesday, and meant that shares have gained more than 22% since hitting a more than 30-year low on September 30.
The main driver of Thursday’s early rally appeared to be a report from Reuters late on Wednesday that the German government is pursuing talks with US authorities to help the bank settle its enormous fine as quickly as possible.
It has since pared those gains, dropping into negative territory just after midday.
Here’s the chart show Deutsche’s stock has performed so far:
Deutsche’s initial rally was driven by rumours in the markets that the bank had managed to settle its DoJ fine for around $5.4 billion, less than half the sum first mooted by the US government. While that rumour has not been officially confirmed, it has boosted confidence in Deutsche massively.
Shares may have jumped in recent weeks, but Deutsche’s problems are still very real. Just yesterday, Peter Dattels, a senior figure within the International Monetary Fund’s capital markets division, raised concerns about the bank’s long-term viability, saying: “Deutsche Bank . . . is among banks that need to continue to adjust to convince investors that its business model is viable and has addressed the issues of operational risk arising from litigation.”
As part of a report into global financial stability, the fund said that European banks in general need to take “urgent and comprehensive action” to deal with problems in the sector.
“Weak profitability could erode banks’ buffers over time and undermine their ability to support growth,” the IMF said in its October report on financial stability.