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BANKING

EMC deal gives Commerzbank glimmer of hope

Sale offers relief from share price dip.

Commerzbank’s deal with Société Générale to sell its equity markets and commodities business (EMC) marks an important step in its strategic plan after a tough few months for the bank’s shares. The German lender lost more than a third of its value between February and early July, when it announced the EMC deal; by the end of July it had risen about 3%.

The talk in Frankfurt is still whether or not this pillar of Germany’s financial world – its second biggest bank – can maintain a place in the blue-chip DAX index of the top 30 German stocks. Although the index lost about 8% of its value between February and July, younger online firms are catching up rapidly. Delivery Hero, for example, has risen by almost 50% in that period and now has a similar market capitalization to Commerz.

Management board member for corporate clients, Michael Reuther, says four issues lie behind pressure on its stock.

Firstly, the bank had previously been subject to unrealistic speculation both over earlier-than-realistic ECB rate rises – which would benefit Commerz more than most – and, secondly, over an imminent merger with another large European lender, possibly Deutsche Bank.