Deutsche Bank wants to show the debt market it's wrong

Deutsche Bank could take advantage of the crisis of confidence in its debt and buy back some of it on the cheap, according to the Financial Times.

The German bank was said to be considering the move as a market rout took hold of bank stocks on Tuesday.

Deutsche Bank shares fell 4% and Credit Suisse dropped 8% as investors fretted over the ability of the banks to make payments on bonds they have issued issued.

The FT reported that Deutsche Bank is looking at dipping into its cash pile and buying back some of its €50 billion (£38 billion) in senior bonds because it thinks the market is undervaluing them.

The tactic could make sense. If the bonds are cheap on the secondary market, then buying them back would cost Deutsche Bank less money in the long run than letting them mature and paying out the face value owed.

Deutsche Bank issued a statement Monday saying it had enough capital to make the coupon payment owed to holders of contingent convertible debt — a type of bond that takes losses if the bank gets into trouble — in April. Deutsche Bank posted a loss of over $7 billion in the fourth quarter, and its stock is trading near a record low.

Co-CEO John Cryan said the bank’s capital position is “absolutely rock-solid,” in a memo to employees sent out Tuesday.

He said: “You can tell them that Deutsche Bank remains absolutely rock-solid, given our strong capital and risk position. On Monday, we took advantage of this strength to reassure the market of our capacity and commitment to pay coupons to investors who hold our Additional Tier 1 capital. This type of instrument has been the subject of recent market concern.”

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