Europäische Bank­aktien senden Warn­signal

“Die Eurokrise kommt nicht zurück.” So ein führender Ökonom, mit dem ich am Montag gemeinsam auf einem Podium saß. Die EU hat Fortschritte gemacht, wir haben die Tools und wenn überhaupt, haben wir ein Privat- und kein Staatsschuldenproblem. Nun, ich denke, wir haben je nach Land andere Schuldenprobleme und von einem Ende der Eurokrise kann ohnehin keine Rede sein.  Sie war nur durch das billige Geld der EZB verdeckt.

Die Märkte scheinen das mit dem Euro-Thema nicht so entspannt zu sehen, wenn man auf die Kursentwicklung bei europäischen Bankaktien blickt. The Telegraph dazu: “European bank stocks are priced for an economic depression. Either they are a screaming buy or Europe faces an extreme political and economic stress test.” Welche der beiden Szenarien es sein wird?

  • “Analysts at Credit Suisse say equities are discounting a 40pc fall in earnings at current values. This implies a 40pc collapse in house prices, a 9pc-10pc fall in GDP, and a rise in average unemployment to 12pc over the next three years, ceteris paribus.” – bto: Das halte ich für übertrieben. Ich denke, es genügt schon ein weitaus geringerer Rückgang, um die Erträge um 40 Prozent sinken zu lassen.
  • “Credit Suisse says bank equities are trading at 0.7 times tangible book value, a sign that investors expect a brutal deterioration in underlying assets. It thinks the sell-off has been greatly overdone and that bank stocks are a steal.” – bto: Nun, es gibt schon seit Langem Zweifel an der Qualität der Bankbilanzen und das hat auch mit der zunehmenden Zombifizierung zu tun.
  • “(…) EU leaders never delivered on plans agreed in 2012 for a full banking union. They never tackled the “doom loop”, that lethal and particular Economic and Monetary Union pathology in which sovereign states and commercial banks pull each other down in a self-feeding spiral.” – bto: Das sind zwei verschiedene Themen. Die Haftungsunion hätte nur dazu geführt, dass wir für die Banken im Süden bezahlt hätten. Der zweite Punkt wäre wichtig gewesen. Aber dagegen waren die Staaten des Südens, die sich auf diese Weise billig finanzieren konnten. Alles kein Wunder.
  • “The world’s biggest hedge fund sniffs trouble. Ray Dalio’s Bridgewater has doubled bets against European banks and other equities over recent days, disclosing short positions worth $10.5bn on 28 companies. These include Spain’s Banco Santander and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Italy’s Intesa Sanpaolo, and France’s BNP Paribas. It is also shorting insurers AXA and Allianz, the energy-intensive chemical group BASF, as well as TotalEnergies and the Dutch semiconductor company ASML Holding.” – bto: Ich habe mich am Anfang gewundert, warum Bridgewater gegen Banken wettet, weil ich dachte, höhere Zinsen würden den Banken helfen. BASF etc. ist angesichts dessen, was gerade passiert, leichter verständlich.
  • “The Stoxx 600 index of European banks is down by 80pc since peaking in 2007, a casualty of the ECB’s negative interest rates.” – bto: … und fehlender Sanierung davor.
  • “The policy has eroded the interest margin of lenders, down to 1.2pc in Europe viz 3.3pc in the US, and undermined the traditional banking model of lending to companies for productive investment. The ECB has been forcing banks to lend to the property sector in various ways. The only source of profit for them is to fund this dangerous bubble (…).” – bto: Das ist in der Tat schön zu beobachten, denken wir an Deutschland.
  • “Above all, the bank slide reflects doom loop fears. We had the first taste of deteriorating debt dynamics two weeks ago when Italy’s 10-year bond yields rocketed to 4pc, a quadrupling of the country’s benchmark borrowing rate since January. Such a move is enough to intrude on assumptions of long-term solvency.” – bto: wobei ich dabei bleibe, dass es bei acht Prozent Inflation keine Rolle spielt. Der Realzins ist entscheidend.
  • “Club Med public debt is higher today as a share of GDP than before the last episode of the doom loop in 2011-2012. The ratios have jumped from 120pc to 151pc in Italy, 69pc to 118pc in Spain, and 109pc to 127pc in Portugal. In France, a borderline case, it is up from 87pc to 113pc.” – bto: Nett formuliert, Frankreich ist schon lange nicht mehr “borderline”.
  • Debt service costs have fallen and maturities are longer. Italy’s interest payments have dropped to 3.3 of GDP from 4.5pc 15 years ago. But markets know that the era of free money is over and they have a habit of pulling forward changes in trajectory.” – bto: Nein, es ist eben kein Problem.
  • “While the Italian banks are better capitalised than a decade ago – and bad loans are back to pre-Lehman ratios – these lenders have nevertheless just suffered a wicked haircut on their Italian bonds. It is not clear how many have unmatched liabilities that must eventually be marked to market, eating into their capital ratios. (…) A perverse side-effect of ECB bond purchases is that foreign investors were able to offload Club Med debt at a profit. Italian, Spanish, Portuguese banks more or less did the opposite. They borrowed for free from the ECB to buy bonds issued by their own government, enjoying a risk-free rent from the spread on the carry trade. Prof Werner says absurd Basel banking regulations encouraged them to do so.” – bto: Und hier liegt das Versagen der EU, was wiederum nicht überrascht.
  • “The International Monetary Fund has warned in the past that these debt holdings remain excessively concentrated. It said a serious shock would compress the Tier 1 capital ratios of banks by 230 points in Italy, 150 in Portugal, and 120 in Spain.” – bto: Das hat Bridgewater gesehen und deshalb die Banken geshortet.
  • “The EU has not resolved the fundamental incompatibility between two halves of the eurozone that should not be trying to share a currency.” – bto: Aber wir machen Augen zu und zahlen, siehe jetzt den “Klimasozialfonds”…

Fazit Telegraph: “So yes, European bank stocks are cheap. They are cheap for a reason.” (Anmeldung erforderlich): „Europe’s banks are priced for economic Armageddon”, 28. Juni 2022