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.