Germany's Commerzbank posts Q1 loss as coronavirus crisis bites

2020-05-13 21:00

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FRANKFURT, May 13 (Xinhua) -- Leading German lender Commerzbank said on Wednesday that it swung to a loss of 295 million euros (320 million U.S. dollars) in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 from a profit of 122 million euros a year ago, as the coronavirus crisis weighed on its earnings.

For the first three months, the operating result stood at minus 277 million euros, mainly because of temporary valuation effects caused by market volatility and higher risk provision due to the pandemic. The negative impact arising from the coronavirus totaled 479 million euros, it said.

Its risk result increased fourfold to minus 326 million euros compared with the same period last year, as a result of the pandemic, the bank said.

However, the German lender saw good development in customer business, with net interest income up 7 percent year on year and net commission income up 14 percent. Overall, Commerzbank reported revenues of 1.85 billion euros, down from 2.16 billion euros a year ago.

"Our strong balance sheet and our robust capital position place us in a good position to help the German economy with full strength through this historically unprecedented circumstances," said Commerzbank CEO Martin Zielke.

Zielke noted that the banks have a key role to play in overcoming this crisis by providing liquidity and thereby helping their customers to get through these difficult times. He said Commerzbank has provided around 11 billion euros of additional liquidity.

The bank also had a strong Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) ratio and leverage ratio at the end of March. Chief financial officer Bettina Orlopp said a healthy loan book will be able to cushion additional effects resulting from the pandemic.

Assuming no second lockdown and gradual economic recovery, the German lender expects to keep revenues in customer business largely stable in the financial year 2020. (1 euro = 1.09 U.S. dollars)
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