Deutsche Bank expects third-quarter loss of S$9.8 billion after major write-downs

The Russian headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Moscow.
The Russian headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Moscow.PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG NEWS) - Deutsche Bank AG expects to report a third- quarter net loss of 6.2 billion euros (S$9.8 billion) and may eliminate its dividend for the year after writing down the value of its two biggest divisions and boosting its reserve for legal costs.

The estimates, announced in a statement on Wednesday (Oct 7), are part of a strategy that co-chief executive officer John Cryan will present on Oct 29 as he looks to shore up capital and boost profitability at Europe's biggest investment bank. Deutsche Bank's American depositary receipts tumbled 6.4 per cent after the disclosure to US$26.96 at 4.22pm in extended trading in New York.

The firm said it was taking a 5.8-billion-euro write-down of goodwill and intangible assets as higher capital requirements reduce the value of its investment bank and it adjusts the estimate of what it will receive in the disposal of its Postbank unit. The Frankfurt-based lender is also adding about 1.2 billion euros to its litigation reserves.

"As part of the planning for the implementation of Strategy 2020, the management board will recommend a reduction or possible elimination of the Deutsche Bank common share dividend for the fiscal year of 2015," the company said.

Mr Cryan is cleaning up the firm's balance sheet in his first full quarter at the helm. Mr Cryan, who shares the CEO post with Mr Juergen Fitschen, inherited a strategy to boost returns by lowering expenses about 15 per cent by 2020 and shrinking assets at the investment bank as much as 17 per cent through 2018.

Mr Cryan is seeking to avoid tapping shareholders for funds while focusing on reorganising the bank to meet growing demands for buffers from regulators. In July, he said: "Raising additional capital would not solve our core problem of reversing our low financial returns and our poor organic capital generation."

Deutsche Bank turned to Postbank to diversify its funding mix by boosting consumer deposits in the midst of the global financial crisis.