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商业 - 金融

德意志银行如何误入歧途

Shawn Tully 2015年06月15日

2007年以来,德意志银行的股价已经由每股150美元降至每股33美元,市值缩水了1000亿美元。投资银行业务表现不佳,而且人们日益怀疑业绩短时间内不会改善,这使得德意志银行当前的战略遭到了严重质疑。

    曾经利润丰厚的传统证券交易业务现今正褪去迷人的光环。不信?看看德意志银行的最新消息就清楚了。

    6月7日,这家德国最大的银行宣布,该公司联席首席执行官安舒•贾因和于尔根•菲辰将辞职。新任首席执行官为银行监事会成员、曾在竞争对手瑞银任过首席财务官的约翰•克莱恩(菲辰将于明年5月离职,从技术角度而言,在此之前他与克莱恩二人将共同担任首席执行官)。

    值得注意的是,虽然德意志银行的领导层将换血,但该公司董事会打算沿用之前已经失败的基本战略,巩固甚至加码投资银行业务,该业务是德意志银行的主要支柱,也是新CEO克莱恩最擅长的领域。而在投资银行业务中,德意志银行重点投资的是一个早已跟不上现代化脚步的过时领域:固定收益交易。

    2012年,联席首席执行官贾因和菲辰受命接替传奇式人物约瑟夫•阿克曼,两人制定了雄心勃勃的财务目标,但最终所有主要目标都落空了,实际悬殊甚远。今年4月,二人宣布进行战略调整,将各项目标大大下调。在5月举行的德意志银行年会上,投资者对上述计划深表失望。在一次不具约束力的投票中,只有61%的股东赞成上述计划,这显然促使了董事会采取行动。

    德意志银行长期业绩不佳主要有两个原因。首先,自金融危机结束以来,一系列的罚款、和解以及重组已经给这家银行带来了数十亿欧元的负担。这些费用远远超出该行领导层、分析师乃至所有人的预期。过去三年里,德意志银行共花了约90亿美元,以就操纵伦敦银行间同业拆借利率(Libor)的调查以及多桩诉讼案达成和解,这些诉讼案涉及该行承销抵押贷款支持证券,以及在2002年媒体巨头基尔希公司破产中所扮演的角色。德意志银行还抛掉了有问题的商业房地产贷款投资组合,上述问题资产来自它2008年收购的一家国有银行Postbank。

    同时,巴塞尔协议III的资本新规引发了额外的亏损。由于新规强制要求银行为波动性强的互换合约以及各类衍生品合约预留大量准备金,这些原本盈利的合约转而出现亏损。这迫使德意志银行亏本甩卖衍生品投资组合。

    在2008年后重建的金融秩序中,大多数大型银行都经历了类似的阵痛。但是,假如德意志银行基础运营业务业绩良好,贾因和菲辰也不至于如此狼狈。事实恰恰相反,该行基础业务表现不佳,大大低于预期。2012年,两位联席CEO宣布了2015年要达到的3项目标:一是承诺资产负债表上“账面净资产”回报率达到12%;二是承诺使运营成本与收入之比达到65%的骄人水平;三是在不募集新资的前提下,使监管资本比例在3年窗口期结束时升高到10%。

    德意志银行4月份的净资产收益率数字非常难看,贾因和菲辰不得不大幅下调这一目标。新设定的目标是有形资产净资产收益率达到10%,这一目标相对较低,因为它排除了商业信誉。有形资产净资产收益率10%的新目标,相当于账面净资产收益率8%,也就是说比之前的目标降低了4个百分点。更令股东愤怒的是,二人不仅将目标大幅降低,还将实现目标的期限推迟了5年,延长至2020年。到目前为止,尚未见到任何进展。2014年,德意志银行公布的净资产收益率为2.3%。盛富证券驻法兰克福分析师德克•贝克尔表示:“该银行2015年的净资产收益率很可能也是较小的个位数。”至于说第二个目标,德意志银行的运营成本与收入之比目前没有达到计划的60%左右,而是高达80%左右。

    贾因和菲辰确实实现了资本比率10%的目标,但他们还是失败了,因为为了达到上述比率,德意志银行募集了约130亿美元的新股本,这稀释了股东权益,股东们因此纷纷抛售该银行股票。2007年以来,德意志银行的股价已经由每股150美元降至每股33美元,市值缩水了1000亿美元。

    投资银行业务业绩不佳,而且人们日益怀疑业绩短时间内不会改善,这使得德意志银行当前的战略遭到严重质疑。

    If any doubt lingers that traditional securities trading has faded from a fabulously profitable, glamorous enterprise to a shadow of its former self, the latest news from Deutsche Bank makes this new reality all too clear.

    On June 7, Germany’s largest lender announced that its co-CEOs, Anshu Jain and Jurgen Fitschen, would resign from their posts. The new CEO (who technically will share the job with Fitschen until he departs next May) will be John Cryan, a member of the Deutsche Bank supervisory board and former CFO of rival UBS.

    What’s remarkable about the shift is that while Deutsche Bank’s leadership will change, the board intends to follow the same basic strategy that failed under the previous regime: bolstering, one might even say doubling down, on investment banking, its primary pillar and Cryan’s area of expertise. Within investment banking, deutsche is wagering heavily on an antiquated area where modernization isn’t its friend: fixed income trading.

    Appointed in 2012 to succeed the legendary Josef Ackermann, co-CEOs Jain and Fitschen set ambitious financial goals, and missed all of the big ones by a spectacular margin. In April, the duo unveiled a strategic overhaul with significantly reduced goals. At Deutsche Bank’s annual meeting in May, investors expressed deep disappointment with the plan; only 61% of shareholders endorsed it in a non-binding vote, which clearly shocked the board into action.

    Two main factors account for Deutsche Bank’s chronically poor results. First, since the end of the financial crisis, a series of fines, settlements, and restructurings have inflicted billions upon billions of euros in charges on the bank. Those charges were far bigger than the bank’s leaders, analysts, or almost anyone else expected. In the past three years, the bank has paid a total of around $9 billion to settle a Libor-rigging action and lawsuits over its underwriting of mortgage-backed securities, as well as its role in the collapse of the Kirch media empire in 2002. It also dumped troubled portfolios of commercial real estate loans inherited in the acquisition of government-owned lender Postbank in 2008.

    The new Basel III capital rules triggered additional losses. Once profitable swaps and assorted derivatives contracts sprung losses when new rules mandated that banks back those volatile contracts with heavy reserves. The tighter regulations forced Deutsche Bank to sell derivatives portfolios at heavy losses.

    Similar travails afflicted most big banks in the post-2008 financial order. But Jain and Fitschen wouldn’t have whiffed so badly if Deutsche Bank’s basic operating businesses had posted strong results. Instead, they performed poorly, exploding the forecasts. In 2012, the co-CEOs announced three goals for 2015. First, they promised to achieve a 12% return on “book equity,” as stated on the balance sheet. Second, Jain and Fitschen pledged to reach an impressive ratio of operating costs to revenues of 65%. The third target: Hiking its regulatory capital level to 10% by the end of the three-year window, without raising any new capital.

    As for return on equity, Deutsche Bank was faring so poorly in April that the co-CEOs lowered the goal in a big way. The new target is 10% on tangible equity, a lower number since it excludes goodwill. It’s the equivalent of 8% on book equity, four points below the previous bogey. Further infuriating shareholders, they pushed back the deadline to achieve this easier target by five years, to 2020. So far, progress is nowhere in sight. In 2014, Deutsche Bank posted a return on equity of 2.3%. “It will probably be in the low-single digits for 2015 as well,” says Dirk Becker, an analyst with Kepler Cheuvreux in Frankfurt. On the second objective, the expense ratio is now running not in the 60% range as planned, but in the 80s.

    The duo did achieve a capital ratio of 10%. But they flopped again, since getting there required raising around $13 billion in new equity capital, diluting shareholders, who’ve fled the stock. Since 2007, Deutsche Bank’s share price has dropped from $150 to $33, erasing $100 billion in market value.

    The poor performance of investment banking, and growing doubts that this will change any time soon, most seriously calls the bank’s current strategy into question.

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