Deutsche Bank (DB - Get Report) shares traded at a fresh record low Monday as investors continued to dump shares in Germany's largest lender ahead of what is expected to be a volatile annual meeting of shareholders later this week.
UBS added to downward pressure on the shares, which have fallen around 38.9% over the past year, when it joined a host of investment firms -- 19 in total -- in downgrading the stock to "sell" amid myriad headline risks ranging from a failed merger attempt with rival Commerzbank AG (CRZBY) , last year's warning from U.S. regulators regarding its risk management practices, a string of losses from its trading division and the planned exit of major shareholder HNA Group.
Those issues, as well as the bank's links to businesses controlled by President Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner, have clouded the stock's prospects and piled pressure on chairman Paul Achleitner, who fired former CEO John Cryan last year and replaced him with longtime bank insider Christian Sewing.
.....was very good and highly professional to deal with - and if for any reason I didn't like them, I would have gone elsewhere....there was always plenty of money around and banks to choose from. They would be very happy to take my money. Fake News!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2019
Deutsche Bank shares were marked 3.16% lower on the session in Frankfurt and trading at an all-time low of €6.63 each by mid-day, with Thursday's AGM looming and the New York Times reporting that bank staff tasked with anti-money laundering responsibilities had flagged suspicious transactions linked to Trump-controlled accounts in 2016 and 2017.
The Times also reported that Deutsche Bank management prevented staff from reporting the concerns to U.S. authorities, with one employee claiming she was fired for red-flagging the moves in and out of accounts tied to the now-defunct Trump Foundation.
"At no time was an investigator prevented from escalating activity identified as potentially suspicious,"Deutsche Bank said. "Furthermore, the suggestion that anyone was reassigned or fired in an effort to quash concerns relating to any client is categorically false."
Last month, Deutsche Bank walked away from plans to merger with Commerzbank, with both lenders citing execution risks, capital requirements and costs related to the tie-up would outweigh any benefits in a multi-billion tie-up.
The tie-up talks, which lasted around six weeks, would have created Europe's third-largest bank with a market value of around €25 billion alongside a $2 trillion balance sheet, but were opposed by nearly every senior voice in both German and European banking, with reports that European Central Bank regulators would ask Deutsche Bank to raise fresh capital in order to mitigate any risks linked to the merger. Germany's powerful unions, as well, opposed the deal, arguing it put 30,000 jobs at risk.