Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest lender, on Tuesday tried to reassure investors and staff that it has sufficient cash to pay its riskiest debts as its shares took a another hammering along with banking stocks around the world.
In a short statement late Monday and subsequently in a letter to employees on Tuesday, the bank -- whose shares have plummeted by nearly 40 percent since the beginning of the year -- said that it is financially "rock solid" and has more-than-sufficient means to pay coupons on its riskiest debt both this year and next year.
Deutsche Bank's new chief executive, John Cryan, who was brought in to steer the group out of its current woes, acknowledged in the letter to employees that volatility on the stock markets was having an impact on earnings.
"Volatility in the fourth quarter impacted the earnings of most major banks, especially those in Europe," Cryan wrote.
But Deutsche Bank "remains absolutely rock-solid, given our strong capital and risk position," he insisted.
"On Monday, we took advantage of this strength to reassure the market of our capacity and commitment to pay coupons to investors who hold our Additional Tier 1 capital. This type of instrument has been the subject of recent market concern," Cryan said.
Deutsche Bank also got verbal backing from German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who told Bloomberg Television on Tuesday: "No, I have no concerns about Deutsche Bank." He did not elaborate.
- Investors keep selling stock -
But the reassurances did not seem to be having much effect on investors, who continued to sell off Deutsche Bank's stock.
On the Frankfurt stock exchange Tuesday, Deutsche Bank shares were among the biggest losers, shedding 4.3 percent to close at 13.23 euros.
Markets also appear to be concerned about the huge legal bills Deutsche Bank may be facing as its battles as many as 6,000 different litigation cases.
"The market also expressed some concern about the adequacy of our legal provisions but I don't share that concern. We will almost certainly have to add to our legal provisions this year but this is already accounted for in our financial plan," he said.
In its statement late Monday, Deutsche Bank said that its "2016 payment capacity is estimated to be approximately one billion euros ($1.1 billion)", sufficient to pay so-called additional tier 1 (AT1) coupons of approximately 350 million euros on April 30.
- Takeover talk -
Its payment capacity for 2017 would be bolstered by proceeds from the sale of its 20-percent stake in China's Hua Xia Bank, as well as reserves "available to offset future losses," it said.
The decision to issue such a statement was seen as unusual and appears to highlight the bank's nervousness amid speculation in German media about its vulnerability to possible takeover, given the low value of its share price.
Deutsche Bank has had negative press for years now amid a series of scandals and litigation. And it chalked up a record loss of 6.8 billion euros last year.