03.12.2012 08:04
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Commerzbank AG -- Moody's: Commerzbank's business realignment poses short-term credit risks; credit positive long-term

Frankfurt am Main, December 03, 2012 -- Commerzbank AG's new group strategy for its core businesses will heighten short-term credit risks for its retail banking activities, says Moody's Investors Service in a new Credit Focus report published today. The plans, announced on 9 November 2012, involve substantial investment to remedy the shortcomings in the group's current structure, IT systems and processes. However, although the short-term risks are skewed to the downside, the adjustments could yield credit-positive developments for some of the bank's core segments in the medium to longer term, contingent on market and operating conditions.

The new report, "Credit Focus: Commerzbank Group: Low Visibility Ahead of Major Business Realignment Heightens Short-Term Credit Risks", is now available on www.moodys.com. Moody's subscribers can access this report via the link provided at the end of this press release.

Commerzbank's (deposits A3, negative; BFSR D+/BCA baa3, negative) new group strategy for its core businesses involves a plan to invest EUR2 billion (thereof 50% allocated towards the retail operations) over four years to address shortcomings in the group's current structure, IT systems and processes. Moody's says that based on these investments and strategic readjustments, Commerzbank aims to improve its relative market position and core earnings.

Over time, Commerzbank will also address the disproportionate allocation of capital resources to non-core areas. In this context, as of September 2012, Commerzbank's non-core assets (NCA) absorbed 34.5% of the group's total average capital employed. Of Commerzbank's most important segments Mittelstand (MSB) is the engine of stability and profitability and private customers (PC) is the worse-performing, whilst NCA encompasses the high-risk legacy assets of Commerzbank's earlier business ventures. Commerzbank's future franchise stability and earnings will principally depend on these three segments' performance.

Moody's says that Commerzbank's retail banking activities, have underperformed those of most of its peers, despite the extra scale provided by the Dresdner Bank acquisition in 2009. Moody's says that there are two key credit factors (1) the context of the strategic adjustments; and (2) the new deliverables and their associated credit risk.

THE CONTEXT OF COMMERZBANK'S STRATEGIC ADJUSTMENTS

Moody's believes that Commerzbank is under pressure to invest in its technology in order to maintain its position in Germany's increasingly fierce competitive landscape. Apart from adverse market-related factors, low clarity in Commerzbank's market positioning and its earlier risk culture had added to the pressures that triggered the various profound structural changes announced during 2012.

THE NEW DELIVERABLES AND ASSOCIATED RISK

Whilst Moody's views the targets as reasonable in principle, the transition period will occur in challenging operating conditions. The additional investments will burden the income statement further in the near term, and bear risks for the medium term if the set targets of a larger client base, higher wallet-shares and better efficiencies are not met. Moody's therefore notes that the ultimate success of the new core bank strategy remains uncertain at this stage, which is reflected in the negative outlook assigned to Commerzbank's ratings.

Subscribers can access this report via this link: http://www.moodys.com/research/Commerzbank-Group-Low-Visibility-Ahead-of-Major-Business-Realignment-Heightens-Credit-Focus--PBC_147831NOTE TO JOURNALISTS ONLY: For more information, please call one of our global press information hotlines: London+44-20-7772-5456, New York+1-212-553-0376, Tokyo+813-5408-4110, Hong Kong+852-3758-1350, Sydney+61-2-9270-8141, Mexico City001-888-779-5833, São Paulo 0800-891-2518, or Buenos Aires0800-666-3506. You can also email us at mediarelations@moodys.com or visit our web site at www.moodys.com.

Katharina Barten VP - Senior Credit Officer Financial Institutions Group Moody'sDeutschland GmbH An der Welle 5 Frankfurt am Main 60322 Germany JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456 SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454 Carola Schuler MD - Banking Financial Institutions Group JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456 SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454 Releasing Office: Moody's Deutschland GmbH An der Welle 5 Frankfurt am Main 60322 Germany JOURNALISTS: 44 20 7772 5456 SUBSCRIBERS: 44 20 7772 5454 (C) 2012 Moody's Investors Service, Inc. and/or its licensors and affiliates (collectively, "MOODY'S"). All rights reserved.

CREDIT RATINGS ISSUED BY MOODY'S INVESTORS SERVICE, INC. ("MIS") AND ITS AFFILIATES ARE MOODY'S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES, AND CREDIT RATINGS AND RESEARCH PUBLICATIONS PUBLISHED BY MOODY'S ("MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS") MAY INCLUDE MOODY'S CURRENT OPINIONS OF THE RELATIVE FUTURE CREDIT RISK OF ENTITIES, CREDIT COMMITMENTS, OR DEBT OR DEBT-LIKE SECURITIES. MOODY'S DEFINES CREDIT RISK AS THE RISK THAT AN ENTITY MAY NOT MEET ITS CONTRACTUAL, FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS AS THEY COME DUE AND ANY ESTIMATED FINANCIAL LOSS IN THE EVENT OF DEFAULT. CREDIT RATINGS DO NOT ADDRESS ANY OTHER RISK, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO: LIQUIDITY RISK, MARKET VALUE RISK, OR PRICE VOLATILITY. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY'S OPINIONS INCLUDED IN MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT STATEMENTS OF CURRENT OR HISTORICAL FACT. CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS DO NOT CONSTITUTE OR PROVIDE INVESTMENT OR FINANCIAL ADVICE, AND CREDIT RATINGS AND MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS ARE NOT AND DO NOT PROVIDE RECOMMENDATIONS TO PURCHASE, SELL, OR HOLD PARTICULAR SECURITIES. NEITHER CREDIT RATINGS NOR MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS COMMENT ON THE SUITABILITY OF AN INVESTMENT FOR ANY PARTICULAR INVESTOR. MOODY'S ISSUES ITS CREDIT RATINGS AND PUBLISHES MOODY'S PUBLICATIONS WITH THE EXPECTATION AND UNDERSTANDING THAT EACH INVESTOR WILL MAKE ITS OWN STUDY AND EVALUATION OF EACH SECURITY THAT IS UNDER CONSIDERATION FOR PURCHASE, HOLDING, OR SALE.

ALL INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS PROTECTED BY LAW, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, COPYRIGHT LAW, AND NONE OF SUCH INFORMATION MAY BE COPIED OR OTHERWISE REPRODUCED, REPACKAGED, FURTHER TRANSMITTED, TRANSFERRED,DISSEMINATED, REDISTRIBUTED OR RESOLD, OR STORED FOR SUBSEQUENT USE FOR ANY SUCH PURPOSE, IN WHOLE OR IN PART, IN ANY FORM OR MANNER OR BY ANY MEANS WHATSOEVER, BY ANY PERSON WITHOUT MOODY'S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

All information contained herein is obtained by MOODY'S from sources believed by it to be accurate and reliable. Because of the possibility of human or mechanical error as well as other factors, however, all information contained herein is provided "AS IS" without warranty of any kind. MOODY'S adopts all necessary measures so that the information it uses in assigning a credit rating is of sufficient quality and from sources MOODY'S considers to be reliable including, when appropriate, independent third-party sources. However, MOODY'S is not an auditor and cannot in every instance independently verify or validate information received in the rating process. Under no circumstances shall MOODY'S have any liability to any person or entity for (a) any loss or damage in whole or in part caused by, resulting from, or relating to, any error negligent or otherwise or other circumstance or contingency within or outside the control of MOODY'S or any of its directors, officers, employees or agents in connection with the procurement, collection, compilation, analysis, interpretation, communication, publication or delivery of any such information, or (b) any direct, indirect, special, consequential, compensatory or incidental damages whatsoever (including without limitation, lost profits), even if MOODY'S is advised in advance of the possibility of such damages, resulting from the use of or inability to use, any such information. The ratings, financial reporting analysis, projections, and other observations, if any, constituting part of the information contained herein are, and must be construed solely as, statements of opinion and not statements of fact or recommendations to purchase, sell or hold any securities. Each user of the information contained herein must make its own study and evaluation of each security it may consider purchasing, holding or selling.

NO WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, AS TO THE ACCURACY, TIMELINESS, COMPLETENESS, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR ANY PARTICULAR PURPOSE OF ANY SUCH RATING OR OTHER OPINION OR INFORMATION IS GIVEN OR MADE BY MOODY'S IN ANY FORM OR MANNER WHATSOEVER.

MIS, a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Corporation ("MCO"), hereby discloses that most issuers of debt securities (including corporate and municipal bonds, debentures, notes and commercial paper) and preferred stock rated by MIS have, prior to assignment of any rating, agreed to pay to MIS for appraisal and rating services rendered by it fees ranging from $1,500 to approximately $2,500,000. MCO and MIS also maintain policies and procedures to address the independence of MIS's ratings and rating processes. Information regarding certain affiliations that may exist between directors of MCO and rated entities, and between entities who hold ratings from MIS and have also publicly reported to the SEC an ownership interest in MCO of more than 5%, is posted annually at www.moodys.com under the heading "Shareholder Relations -- Corporate Governance -- Director and Shareholder Affiliation Policy."

Any publication into Australia of this document is by MOODY'S affiliate, Moody's Investors Service Pty Limited ABN 61 003 399 657, which holds Australian Financial Services License no. 336969. This document is intended to be provided only to "wholesale clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001. By continuing to access this document from within Australia, you represent to MOODY'S that you are, or are accessing the document as a representative of, a "wholesale client" and that neither you nor the entity you represent will directly or indirectly disseminate this document or its contents to "retail clients" within the meaning of section 761G of the Corporations Act 2001.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, credit ratings assigned on and after October 1, 2010 by Moody's Japan K.K. ("MJKK") are MJKK's current opinions of the relative future credit risk of entities, credit commitments, or debt or debt-like securities. In such a case, "MIS" in the foregoing statements shall be deemed to be replaced with "MJKK". MJKK is a wholly-owned credit rating agency subsidiary of Moody's Group Japan G.K., which is wholly owned by Moody's Overseas Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of MCO.

This credit rating is an opinion as to the creditworthiness or a debt obligation of the issuer, not on the equity securities of the issuer or any form of security that is available to retail investors. It would be dangerous for retail investors to make any investment decision based on this credit rating. If in doubt you should contact your financial or other professional adviser.

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Um die Übersicht zu verbessern, haben Sie die Möglichkeit, die Analysen für Commerzbank nach folgenden Kriterien zu filtern.

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