JPMorgan Picks Commerzbank to Benefit From Possible ECB Policy

JPMorgan Cazenove upgraded Commerzbank AG to overweight from neutral, seeking exposure to Germany before possible quantitative easing by the European Central Bank.

The nation’s second-largest lender is set to benefit from potential asset revaluations in Germany and growth at Commerzbank’s corporate and consumer banking units should help performance, JPMorgan said in a copy of a presentation from analysts including Kian Abouhossein.

“We seek exposure to Germany in our portfolio as we see Germany better positioned than other European economies, benefiting from its export-oriented economy as well as potential asset inflation in 2015,” the analysts said.

The ECB is preparing to discuss asset purchases at a Jan. 22 meeting after a slump in oil prices sparked the first decline in annual consumer prices in more than five years. Policy makers disagree over whether quantitative easing is needed, with officials including Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann arguing against it and others such as ECB Chief Economist Peter Praet pressing ahead.

Commerzbank shares were up 4.3% at 10.95 euros ($12.91) at 1:30 p.m. in Frankfurt, while the STOXX Europe 600 Banks Index was up 1.4%.

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