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Nov. 27, 2013, 8:01 AM
- UBS is ahead by 1.2% in the premarket amid an RBC upgrade to Buy (the price target remains $20).
- Positive on the global investment banks in general, RBC reiterates Buy ratings on BCS, CS, MS, DB, and GS.
- In other UBS news, the bank confirms a visit to its Paris HQ by French investigators looking into allegations it illegally sold products designed to avoid French taxes.
Nov. 26, 2013, 4:12 AM
- The benchmark rate for the $20T gold market has become the latest focus of regulator scrutiny, with the U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority looking at how the "London fix" is set, Bloomberg reports.
- In a process that goes back to 1919, the rate is published twice a day following a telephone call between Barclays (BCS), Deutsche Bank (DB), Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS), HSBC (HSBC) and Societe Generale (SCGLY).
- The process can last up to over an hour, with participants being able to use the information from the call to trade gold and its derivatives while the discussion is taking place.
- "It's controlled by a handful of firms with a direct financial interest in where it's set, and there is virtually no oversight - and it's based on information exchanged among them during undisclosed calls," says Rosa Abrantes-Metz of New York University.
- ETFs: GLD, IAU, PHYS, SGOL, UGL, DGP, GLL, DZZ, UGLD, DGL, GLTR, DGZ, AGOL, DBP, GLDI, DGLD, WITE, FSG, TBAR, JJP, UBG, RGRP, BLNG
Nov. 15, 2013, 7:51 AM
- A check of the stocks of the downgraded banks (GS, JPM, MS, BK) finds them snoozing through the news. Goldman is off 0.4% premarket, but it's one trade for 56 shares. The others have no premarket action. A look at the lender's bond yields finds them little-affected as well.
- A far larger issue is U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder calling the rate-fixing we know about so far "the tip of the iceberg," as U.S. regulators pile into a currency-trading investigation. The DOJ, he says, is "taking a leading role" in a "truly global investigation."
- The above-mentioned banks (maybe excepting BK) are being looked at, but Deutsche (DB), Citigroup (C), Barclays (BCS), and UBS are the gorillas in forex.
Nov. 14, 2013, 7:29 AM
- Deutsche Bank (DB) is losing one of its big rainmakers, with the NYPost reporting Jon Hitchon - co-head of global prime finance - as expected to exit the bank in the next several months. He's to be replaced by Murray Ross, who has held a number of senior equities positions at Deutsche.
- The split is described as "amicable" by a source, but still a surprise. Along with co-head Barry Bausano, Hitchon helped build the make the bank's prime brokerage business what it is.
Nov. 7, 2013, 1:46 PM
- The bank could be fined by year's end, reports Bloomberg, and, according to a source, is expected to settle in exchange for a 10% discount on the penalty.
- At issue is a probe into the rigging of yen-based Libor ((Tibor)) submissions. Japanese regulators in 2011 ordered CItigroup (C) and UBS to suspend some operations after the banks' staff were found to have attempted to influence the rate. Tom Hayes - a former trader at both banks - is facing criminal charges in the U.K.
- Separately, Credit Agricole (CRARY) and HSBC (HBC) have walked away from the EU settlement table as it relates to charges over the rigging of Euribor. Barclays (BCS), Deutsche Bank (DB), JPMorgan (JPM), RBS, and SocGen (SCGLY) remain in settlement talks and fines could come as soon as next month.
Nov. 6, 2013, 11:33 AM
- The db X-trackers Harvest CSI 300 China A-Shares Fund (ASHR) hit the market today at $108 million, not only making Deutsche Bank (DB) one of the few issuers to offer 'pure' exposure to the Chinese stock market, but also the largest initial capital fund since 2007.
- In collaboration with the Harvest Global Investments Ltd. team, ASHR was designed to track the performance of the CSI 300 Index; an index of 300 A-Share funds trades on either the Shanghi or Shenzhen exchanges and typically only accessible by mainland China citizens.
- Other China A-Shares ETFs: PEK, CHNA
Nov. 5, 2013, 12:32 PM
- Set to be fined, reports Reuters, are Deutsche Bank (DB), JPMorgan (JPM), HSBC (HBC), RBS, Credit Agricole (CRARY), and SocGen (SCGLY). At issue is the supposed rigging of the benchmark European short-term interest rate, Euribor. Not being fined, says a source, is Barclays, which has had its issues with Libor.
- Some banks have already agreed to settle in exchange for a 10% haircut in their fines, while others are still in negotiations over the size of their penalty. EU rules allow fines for up to 10% of a company's global revenue in these cases, but something much further down the scale seems likely here.
- Banks need to be careful about admitting guilt as part of any settlement as it then opens them up to investor lawsuits.
- In addition to Euribor, the EU has ongoing investigations into benchmark rates tied to the yen and Swiss franc.
Nov. 5, 2013, 3:04 AM
- Deutsche Bank (DB) co-CEO Juergen Fitschen is under investigation "on suspicion that incorrect information was deliberately provided when giving evidence" in a case involving the collapse of the media empire of Leo Kirch, who died in 2011.
- Authorities are also probing the testimony of former Deutsche Bank CEOs Rolf Breuer and Josef Ackermann, ex Chairman Clemens Boersig, and former board member Tessen von Heydebreck.
- In December last year, Deutsche Bank was found partially liable for the failure of Kirch’s media group and was ordered to pay damages.
Oct. 31, 2013, 3:18 PM
- The price tag - obscured by a confidentiality agreement - is believed to less than $1B, reports the FT (a far cry from JPM's $5.1B settlement). Wells (WFC -0.4%) was the only large U.S. bank to not be named when the FHFA filed suit against 17 lenders in 2011 - apparently because it had already entered into settlement discussions with the GSE regulator.
- In addition to the Bank of Dimon's settlement last week, Ally Financial reports it expects to soon reach a deal, and HSBC boosted reserves - a sign a settlement is nearing.
- This ramps up the pressure on holdouts like Bank of America (BAC -0.9%), RBS, Deutsche Bank (DB -0.7%), and Credit Suisse (CS -0.4%) - all of which have large exposure to FHFA cases - to cut their own deals. Extrapolating the JPMorgan settlement leads to a range of payments of $1.7B to $7B for these four lenders, says the FT, which has reported the FHFA is pressing BofA for more than $6B.
Oct. 29, 2013, 3:31 AM
- Deutsche Bank's (DB) Q3 net profit tumbled 94% to €41M ($56M), badly missing consensus of €430M.
- Pretax profit dropped 98% to 18M vs forecasts of €642M.
- Earnings were partly hurt by a €1.2B increase in litigation provisions to €4.1B.
- Revenue from trading debt and other products dropped 48% to €1.29B vs expectations of €1.59B. (PR)
Oct. 24, 2013, 4:49 AM
- The Department of Justice is reportedly investigating nine major banks over the sale of problematic mortgage bonds, although the probes are for civil infractions rather than criminal ones.
- The banks are Bank of America (BAC), Citigroup (C), Credit Suisse (CS), Deutsche Bank (DB), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS), RBS (RBS), UBS (UBS) and Wells Fargo (WFC).
- The inquiries span U.S. attorney's offices from California to Massachusetts, and come as JPMorgan tries to reach a multi-billion dollar settlement over the issue.
Oct. 23, 2013, 4:11 AM
- The European Central Bank plans to carry out comprehensive and uniform stress tests on 128 top eurozone banks over the next year as it aims to build confidence in the financial sector by improving transparency and implementing "corrective action" where needed.
- The ECB intends to complete the tests by October 2014, a month before taking on its new supervisory role.
- The central bank will ask the banks it's reviewing to provision 8% of their risk-adjusted capital as a buffer against losses on loans and other parts of their portfolio. Those with shortfalls will be ordered to make them up.
- Related tickers: DB, SAN, BBVA, EUFN.
Oct. 22, 2013, 3:11 PM
- The $300M bond - the first-ever security backed by home-rental cash flows - will be offered by Blackstone (BX) and underwritten by Deutsche Bank (DB). Pre-marketing is expected to begin within two weeks.
- The REO-to-rental model has become big business in the past few years, led by Blackstone which now owns more than $6B in single-family properties. Players have relied on equity investments and warehouse financing for funding, but securitization of cash flows - opening up a vast new avenue for cheap financing - could open up things even more.
- This particular security is expected to have credit ratings from Kroll, Morningstar, and Moody's according to sources, but the agencies themselves are breaking brand new ground and have plenty of reservations, beginning with the lack of historical rental data.
Oct. 21, 2013, 7:41 PM
- As part of the global probe into possible currency-market manipulation, the CFTC has the major fx-dealing banks scouring their records in order to hand over any evidence of wrongdoing to the agency, reports the WSJ. Deutsche Bank (DB) and Citigroup (C) are among those so-ordered and Deutsche - according to an insider - is spending millions going through emails and chat sessions. Sources say neither lender has yet handed over any material to the CFTC.
- Earlier this month, the chairman of Credit Suisse (CS) told a Swiss newspaper his bank was combing through records in connection with the investigation and had thus far found "no evidence of malpractice."
- The key issue is the foreign-exchange fixes at 4 PM London time, off of which is based a wide range of other rates and securities pricing.
- Any examination of banter among traders is sure to turn up a good deal of pejorative language and information-sharing among participants - none of which would be unusual or necessarily illegal. The investigation will turn on whether regulators feel such color crosses the line into inappropriate disclosure, says a source close to Citi's internal investigation.
- Previous: A group of traders from competing firms were known in the chat rooms as "The Bandits Club," or "The Cartel."
Oct. 21, 2013, 10:48 AM
- Extrapolating the $4B JPMorgan is reportedly set to pay the FHFA over mortgage losses and the $6B the agency wants from Bank of America, Nomura figures Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS -6.3%) could be on the hook for as much as $4B, and Barclays (BCS -1.2%) $1B.
- UBS settled in July for $885M.
- Deutsche Bank (DB -1.8%) was also a big seller of paper to the GSEs and its co-CEO recently announced the bank taking an increase in provisions, without specifying the amount. In other legal woes, Handelsblatt reports Deutsche is talking to about 50 employees as it investigates its role in the Libor manipulation case.
- Turning back to UBS, the former head of its global wealth management business was arrested in Italy over his role in allegedly helping clients evade U.S. taxes.
Oct. 15, 2013, 4:03 AM
- The U.K.'s Court of Appeal is due to to begin a three-day hearing today over whether the attempted rigging of Libor rates can cause the voiding of loans and other deals, and whether banks mis-sold products that were based upon the rates.
- The court is considering two separate cases, one against Barclays (BCS) and the other against Deutsche Bank (DB).
- A loss for the banks could lead to a flood of other claims and leave the sector exposed to compensation of billions of dollars.
- "To unwind all Libor-linked derivative contracts would be financial Armageddon," says consultant Abhishek Sachdev.
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