Financial news: Economic, Investing & Banking

Germanys Daimler picks U.S. executive to lead global trucks operations


´╗┐BERLIN Daimler (DAIGn. DE) has picked the head of its North American trucks division to run group-wide truck operations, it said on Monday, avoiding a lengthy search for a successor to departed chief Wolfgang Bernhard. Bernhard, 56, once seen as a candidate to succeed Daimler Chief Executive Diete Zetsche, stepped down a year before his contract was due to expire, the carmaker said this month. Martin Daum, 57, president and chief executive of Daimler's trucks business in North America, was appointed by the company's supervisory board to top management effective on March 1 for a five-year period, Daimler said. Daum has run Daimler's heavy-duty vehicle business in North America since 2009, having previously held a top management post at the company's European trucks division with responsibility for Daimler's huge trucks plant in Woerth, Germany.

"We are convinced that he will successfully meet the upcoming challenges in the next years," Daimler Chairman Manfred Bischoff said in an emailed statement.

Stuttgart-based Daimler's announcement confirms a Reuters story published earlier on Monday saying that the succession void left by Bernhard's departure would be resolved soon.

Muted response to Deutsche Banks $8.5 billion cash call, strategic u turn


´╗┐Deutsche Bank's (DBKGn. DE) request for shareholders to sign an 8 billion euro ($8.5 billion) check to back its new strategy got a lukewarm reception on Monday from investors who want more detail on its plans. Germany's biggest bank had previously said it would wait until global bank capital rules were finalised before setting out how it intends to turn its business around and chief executive John Cryan had said a cash call was a last resort. But with regulators delaying the Basel III rules and stock indices at record highs, Deutsche opted on Sunday to push ahead with a capital hike while market conditions are favorable as well announcing plans to float part of its asset management unit and reorganize its divisions. While the German government welcomed the move, the fourth such call from the lender for more cash since 2010, it left some investors wondering whether this was the last. It puts Deutsche Bank on course to have raised more than its entire 26 billion euro market value in the past seven years, according to Reuters' calculations. Deutsche Bank shares, which had fallen by more than 1 percent on Friday on reports it was considering raising fresh capital, fell a further 6 percent on Monday. The bank presented the move as an attempt to put it on a stronger footing, after billions of euros of legal penalties had prompted speculation that it would need a German state bailout. A finance ministry spokesman said that while it generally did not comment on specific banks, stable lenders underpinned by strong capital were in Germany's best interests.

"This company won't be profitable overnight. The revenue must go up and costs down. And the markets have to play along, or else the bank again won't be able to hit its goals," said one of the bank' top shareholders, asking not to be named. Deutsche Bank is planning to IPO a minority stake in its asset management business, including its DWS retail asset management, which analysts have said is worth 8 billion euros. In an about-face to its retail banking strategy, the bank scrapped plans to sell Postbank, after failing to sell it at an acceptable price. Instead, it now wants to reintegrate it into its other German retail banking business. Deutsche Bank's investment banking activities will also revert to a structure it threw out less than two years ago by reuniting its securities trading activities and its corporate finance business. It is also promoting retail head Christian Sewing and finance head Markus Schenck to deputy chief executives who will oversee the revamp alongside Cryan.

THE LAST CALL? The combined moves should take Deutsche Bank's core capital ratio - a key measure for regulators - above 13 percent from 11.9 percent at end-2016, but some questioned if this was it."The question is ... whether the bank will need more yet again in a few years. Until now, none of the restructuring measures have borne fruit," Stefan de Schutter, a trader at Frankfurt-based Alpha, said.

Germany's biggest lender, weighed down by litigation costs and writedowns, has fallen behind Wall Street rivals. It has spent the last 18 months trimming its portfolio, jettisoning unwanted clients and trying to get its technology in shape. The proposed issue of up to 688 million new shares represents a hike of about 50 percent to Deutsche Bank's current shares in issue. JP Morgan analyst Kian Abouhossein, who rates the lender "neutral", estimated the overall earnings dilution for existing shareholders would be around 11 percent in 2018, taking into account an expected earnings benefit from lower costs."A credible integration of Postbank, further clarity of progress on investment banking restructuring... stabilization of outflows and restoring confidence in wealth and asset management businesses are all issues management would need to address," wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Magdalena Stoklosa. Morgan Stanley does not have a recommendation on the share because it is an underwriter of Deutsche Bank's rights issue.