What: Shares of Deutsche Bank AG (NYSE:DB) are trading higher by about 11% as of 2:30 p.m. EST after the company announced it would repurchase about $5.4 billion of debt from the public markets.
So what: Deutsche Bank announced a tender offer to purchase 3 billion of euro-denominated bonds, in addition to $2 billion of dollar-denominated notes. The offer is intended as a sign of Deutsche Bank's capital strength -- a projection that the bank is on strong footing.
Deutsche Bank shares currently trade near 30-year lows, and have been pummeled by investors. At the current price, shares trade at about 40% of fourth-quarter tangible book value.
The depressed valuation comes as investors worry about the bank's ability to navigate through stress in the financial markets. Though American banks have had a poor start to the year, European banks have been particularly hard hit. Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) recently traded at a share price not seen in 25 years.
Now what: Deutsche Bank's bond repurchase may stem fears, at least for a time. The Wall Street Journal was quick to note that the cost of insuring $10 million of Deutsche Bank debt for five years dropped to $235,000 from $256,000 after the buyback announcement, no significant change. As recently as the turn of the New Year, the same protection sold for less than $100,000.
Put in perspective, the buyback is little more than fodder for a press release, not at all needle moving for a bank with a $1.8 trillion balance sheet. For today, at least, investors seem satisfied with any confidence-boosting action, no matter the size.
Jordan Wathen has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.