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jueves, 10 de mayo de 2012

Commerzbank profit drops by nearly two-thirds

FRANKFURT (Dow Jones)
Germany’s Commerzbank AG said first-quarter net profit shrank by almost two-thirds, hit by lower interest and commission income and an accounting charge on its own debt, but it said it had already achieved the European Banking Authority’s capital target and aims for a solid operating profit in 2012 in its core bank
“Despite challenging markets, we have made a solid start to 2012. We have again made good progress with our strategic goal of consistently de-leveraging the balance sheet and strengthening the capital base,” Chief Executive Martin Blessing said
Net profit for the period was EUR369 million, down 63% from EUR985 million
Operating profit fell by about 50% to EUR584 million
The record profit in the year-ago period was boosted by EUR360 million from the repurchase of its debt at a discount
This year’s first-quarter profit was hit by a 17% decline in net interest income to EUR1.43 billion, reflecting the negative effects of lower interest rates and Commerzbank’s efforts to cut risky but interest-bearing assets in order to boost equity capital
Along with many other banks this quarter, Commerzbank took a hit--of EUR158 million--on an accounting charge related to the rising value of its own debt in the market place, which theoretically would make it more expensive to repurchase
On a positive note, Commerzbank said it filled the EUR5.3 billion capital shortfall the EBA determined last year, ahead of the end-June deadline and with an additional buffer of approximately EUR1.1 billion
Analysts had expected such a move, however, as the bank had whittled down the gap to EUR1 billion through various measures by late March

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