German Stocks Decline for Second Day as Commerzbank DropsJonathan Morgan
German stocks fell, erasing earlier gains, as Commerzbank AG retreated after Manager Magazin said the nation’s second-largest bank is planning to sell shares to increase capital.
Commerzbank shares slid 3.1 percent for the biggest drop in a month, erasing an earlier advance of more than 3 percent. Fraport AG plunged the most in 10 months after forecasting net income will decrease in 2013. Munich Re, the world’s largest reinsurer, climbed 0.6 percent after saying profit this year will be little changed.
The DAX Index declined 0.2 percent to 7,966.12 at the close of trading in Frankfurt, after swinging between gains and losses at least 20 times. The gauge has still rallied 4.7 percent this year, reaching a five-year high last week, amid optimism central banks around the world will continue to support economic growth. The broader HDAX Index slipped 0.1 percent today.
“Markets are in a wait-and-see mode,” Robert Halver, head of capital markets research at Baader Bank AG in Frankfurt, said in a telephone interview. “The investors and asset managers that I talk to are not willing to make a big move into equities. Investors are awaiting this week’s meeting of European finance ministers, and are expecting a relaxation of austerity measures.”
European Union leaders will meet for a March 14-15 summit in Brussels to discuss financial-rescue terms for Cyprus, including the island nation’s debt sustainability and possibly imposing losses on depositors.
The volume of shares changing hands in shares listed on the DAX was 29 percent greater than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Commerzbank dropped 3.1 percent to 1.40 euros, the biggest decline since Feb. 4. The bank has hired UBS AG to help prepare for a possible share sale, which could raise 700 million euros ($912 million) to 800 million euros, Manager Magazin reported on its website, citing people familiar with the matter.
Nils Happich, a spokesman for Commerzbank in Frankfurt, declined to comment on the report. A Frankfurt-based UBS spokeswoman declined to comment.
Commerzbank had earlier rallied as much as 3.7 percent. Blackstone Group LP, Lone Star Funds and Starwood Capital Group LLC have expressed interest in buying all or part of the bank’s Eurohypo unit in the U.K., the Financial Times reported, citing unidentified people familiar with the situation. All the companies declined to comment, according to the newspaper.
Fraport, the owner of Frankfurt airport, slumped 4 percent to 43.24 euros, the biggest drop since May 14. The company said 2012 net income slipped to 238 million euros from 240 million euros the previous year, and forecast profit will decline again in 2013.
“The given outlook is slightly disappointing,” Jochen Rothenbacher, an analyst at Equinet Bank, wrote in a report.
Separately, Fraport canceled as many as 300 flights today and closed Frankfurt airport temporarily as a result of snow.
Volkswagen AG, Europe’s largest automaker, slipped 1.7 percent to 165.95 euros for the second-biggest decline among companies listed in the DAX.
Munich Re increased 0.6 percent to 145.55 euros. The reinsurer said profit this year will be little changed at about 3 billion euros as prices remain stable and interest rates weigh on investment income.
“Even though the consolidation of state finances and high unemployment will result in slower economic momentum in many industrialized countries, we remain optimistic for our business,” Nikolaus von Bomhard, chief executive officer of the Munich-based company, said in a statement.
Deutsche Boerse AG gained 0.7 percent to 50.32 euros as the operator of the Frankfurt bourse said India’s Bombay Stock Exchange will use the trading technology of Eurex, its derivatives exchange.