Deutsche Bank Sees Slow Start on Political Uncertainty

Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s largest lender, joined a chorus of voices saying investment-banking revenue was under pressure in the first quarter.

“The year has started slow,” Stefan Krause, chief financial officer of Europe’s biggest investment bank, told reporters on the sidelines of a banking conference hosted by the Economist magazine in Paris today. “Political uncertainty caused market uncertainty.”

Krause, 51, said the crisis in Ukraine as well as economic data from China and Germany are factors hurting business. Investment banks, which typically generate the largest share of their earnings in the first quarter of the year, may see revenue spread across a wider period in future, the CFO said.

The top investment banks may see combined revenue from trading, underwriting and advising on mergers drop 11 percent in the first quarter as clients cut back on activity, JPMorgan Cazenove analysts said in an e-mailed report from London today.

Deutsche Bank’s revenue from its investment-banking unit fell 27 percent to 2.46 billion euros ($3.43 billion) in the fourth quarter from a year earlier, led by a 31 percent decline in debt trading income, company filings show. The slide was related to slower economic growth in Europe and a plan to shrink assets to boost capital, the Frankfurt-based bank said in January.

Deutsche Bank is scheduled to report first-quarter earnings on April 29.

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