Germany's top executives show solidarity with Deutsche Bank
Germany's top executives voiced confidence in Deutsche Bank on Sunday, after fears over the lender's financial health saw shares plummet to a record low.
Speaking to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung, the heads of some of Germany's biggest companies, including Siemens, Daimler and Munich Re, said the drama of the past week had not dented their trust in the country's biggest bank.
"German industry needs a Deutsche Bank that accompanies us throughout the world," chairman Juergen Hambrecht of chemicals giant BASF told the newspaper. "We stand with Deutsche Bank."
Deutsche shares fell into a tailspin last week as anxious investors fretted over a US demand for an unaffordable $14 billion fine over the bank's role in the subprime mortgage crisis, fuelling worries over the lender's capital level.
After days of volatile trading, during which the German government was forced to deny speculation of a rescue plan to prevent the bank from collapsing, Deutsche's shares staged a recovery on Friday on a report it was nearing a deal to bring the fine down to $5.4 billion.
Reinsurance giant Munich Re's chief executive Nikolaus von Bomhard told the Frankfurt newspaper he had followed the developments closely but currently saw no need to "reduce our business volume" with Deutsche Bank.
"Deutsche Bank has a great tradition, a solid foundation and beyond that, a good future ahead. Of that I am convinced," chief executive Dieter Zetsche of luxury carmaker Daimler was quoted as saying.
Siemens chief Joe Kaeser added that the bank's management "is pursuing the right goals and has our fullest confidence".
In a show of solidarity, BASF's Hambrecht said he himself had just bought stock in the embattled lender.
"(CEO) John Cryan has earned our trust," he said.