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May 23, 2019
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Shrinkage – and no end in sight: in the first quarter of the year, the European banks once more saw revenues and costs alike decline compared to 12 months ago (-2% each). Non-interest income was particularly weak. As a result, profitability dipped, with loan loss provisions also rising, albeit from very low levels. Banks tried to make up for the revenue loss by taking more risk and expanding their balance sheets. Total assets and risk-weighted assets both increased by 4%. Consequently, the average CET1 capital ratio fell 0.4 pp yet remained in comfortable territory. [more]
May 23, 2019
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Results from the 23-26 May EU elections will not be published before late Sunday evening, final numbers not before Monday morning. Polls continue to indicate a loss of the conservatives' and social democrats' traditional majority while right-wing and left-wing Eurosceptics could gain more than 35% of the seats in the next EP. We do not expect any Council decisions on the next Commission President and other key positions before the June 20-21 summit. But negotiations between leaders on the EU's top jobs could last much longer and also a lengthy standoff between the Council and Parliament over the "Spitzenkandidaten" procedure cannot be excluded. [more]
May 22, 2019
Global high-net worth wealth grew by 4 percent in 2018. This growth is far below past years as a more challenging market environment negatively affecting asset performance. Wealth Management business valuations decreased by more than 20% in 2018. Kai Upadek, Head of Wealth Management, Oliver Wyman and Kinner Lakhani, Head of European Equity Research & European Banks Strategist, Deutsche Bank discuss the outlook. [more]
May 21, 2019
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Digital taxation is currently a subject of intense debate and since large digital companies are widely thought to pay inappropriately low taxes, policymakers remain under pressure to act. However, all approaches which are based on the taxation of revenues instead of profits have major flaws. As digital services expand into ever new areas of the economy (‘smart everything’), the risk of a far-reaching, arbitrary taxation of entrepreneurial activities is increasing. Disruption, the buzzword of the digitalisation discussions, may become an issue in international tax policy, too. In addition to an (international) digital tax, minimum taxes are one of the concepts under discussion. [more]
May 20, 2019
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This edition of Focus Germany has quite a lot but rather short articles. We are taking stock of the German economy after Q1’s surprisingly strong growth. We expect the economy to flatline in Q2 and foresee an only subdued recovery in H2 given the recent flare-up of several geopolitical hotspots, rather than their hoped for de-escalation. We cross-check this analysis with deep dives into the auto and the mechanical engineering sector. We look at the impossible trinity of Germany’s fiscal policy (tax cuts, higher social expenditures and the black zero) and peek into the difficulties finance ministers are facing in the digital economy. We discuss to what extent the upcoming EP and Länder elections might spell more trouble for the Groko and introduce our new German financial conditions index. [more]
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