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Dutch bank ABN Amro warned provisions for souring loans could balloon to 2.5 billion euros ($2.71 billion) this year as the coronavirus crisis and oil price crash triggered a higher-than-expected first quarter loss. The lender, which has one of the biggest exposures in Europe to the global oil-and-gas industry, racked up losses in the first quarter when some of its trading clients ran into trouble due to market volatility. Chief Executive Officer Robert Swaak, who took the helm last month, said he was ramping up a review of ABN Amro's investment bank to be completed by August.
Dutch bank ABN Amro <ABNd.AS> said on Monday it expected the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak to drive it to a loss in the first quarter, while it scrapped dividend payouts until at least Oct. 1. ABN Amro said last week that its clearing business had suffered a net loss of around $200 million during the market turmoil sparked by the coronavirus pandemic. It added that the economic fallout of the fight against the coronavirus had significantly increased its costs overall, which would lead to a loss in the first three months of the year.
ABN Amro's <ABNd.AS> clearing business has suffered a net loss of around $200 million (168 million pounds) after an unidentified U.S. client got into difficulties during the market turmoil sparked by the coronavirus pandemic, the Dutch bank said on Thursday. Shares in the bank fell around 5% after it said it was forced to liquidate the U.S. client's position, after the customer - which traded U.S. options and futures - failed to meet minimum risk and margin requirements. ABN said the pretax loss was about $250 million and it would book the provision for the loss in its first quarter results.
Dutch bank ABN Amro <ABNd.AS> and chipmachine maker ASML <ASML.AS> on Wednesday ordered large parts of their staff to start working from home, as the number of people infected with the coronavirus in the Netherlands jumped sharply. ABN Amro said it had split its 14,000 Dutch employees in two groups, which will alternate between working at home and from the office a week at a time. ASML said it had taken similar measures for around 10,000 employees in the Netherlands, effective from Thursday.
German authorities on Thursday confirmed a raid at Dutch bank ABN Amro <ABNd.AS> related to a dividend tax stripping case known as cum-ex, the Cologne state prosecutor's office said. "We can confirm that we are carrying out measures at ABN Amro in Frankfurt within the cum-ex context," a spokesman for the authority said. The raid is an escalation in efforts to holds dozens of people and global banks to account for a sham trading scheme to make double tax reclaims that Germany estimates cost it more than 5 billion euros ($5.43 billion) in total, though experts believe the sum could be much higher.
Europe has emerged as a key region for hatching and scaling fintech companies. Dublin-based Fenergo builds solutions for banks and other financial management companies to help with regulatory compliance, customer onboarding and other "lifecycle management" requirements. The funding is coming from two investors: the multinational banking giant ABN AMRO (via its Ventures arm) and DXC Technology, which provides a wide range of IT, systems integration and consulting services to businesses (and thus a key partner for a company like Fenergo).
Two letter bombs exploded on Wednesday at two separate locations in the Netherlands but nobody was hurt in the incidents, which police blamed on an extortionist who had demanded payment in bitcoin. Both explosions were minor, one at an ABN Amro bank mail-sorting office in Amsterdam and the other 225 km (140 miles away) in a mail room of Japanese electronics group Ricoh, police said. "The police believe the most likely scenario is that the letter discovered on Wednesday was one of several letter bombs sent to locations across the country," they said in a statement, referring to the Amsterdam incident.
Souring energy loans eroded ABN Amro's <ABNd.AS> fourth quarter profit growth, it said on Wednesday, prompting the Dutch bank to launch another review of its trade and commodity finance operations. "The offshore sector still gives us a headache, we had a serious and unexpected amount of impairments there," Chief Executive Kees van Dijkhuizen told reporters. Shares in the Dutch bank fell 5.6% by 1005 GMT, the biggest loser by far on Amsterdam's blue-chip AEX index, after ABN said net profits were flat in the last quarter of 2019 at 316 million euros (£265.7 million).
ABN Amro said on Thursday that Robert Swaak, a former chairman of accounting firm PwC in the Netherlands, is to succeed Kees van Dijkhuizen as the Dutch bank's chief executive. Swaak will take over from Van Dijkhuizen at the company's annual meeting April 22, pending regulatory and shareholder approval, the bank said in a statement. Van Dijkhuizen has been ABN's CEO since 2017, and was CFO when the bank returned to the stock market in 2015 after it was nationalised during the 2008 financial crisis.
The Dutch financial regulator said on Thursday it had fined lender ABN Amro <ABNd.AS> 2 million euros (£1.7 million) for failing to inform the market about the imminent departure of its chief executive officer in 2016. Dutch financial daily Het Financieele Dagblad in July 2016 reported that ABN had started to look for a successor for CEO Gerrit Zalm, who was expected to announce his retirement before the end of that year. Financial market regulator AFM said ABN's refusal to disclose its plans after the publication of the article was a "serious and grave" breach of transparency rules, aimed at making sure that all investors are informed about important news at the same time.
Law enforcement officials in Germany raided the Frankfurt offices of ABN Amro <ABNd.AS> on Tuesday, seeking information in connection with a broader investigation into dividend stripping, the bank said. A spokesman for ABN said it was cooperating with the authorities and that German officials had also contacted its head office in Amsterdam for information, but had not raided it. Dividend stripping, known as cum-ex, typically involves cross-border trading of company shares around a syndicate of banks, investors and hedge funds to create the impression of numerous owners, each of whom was entitled to a tax rebate.
Dutch bank ABN Amro said on Wednesday it would not charge negative interest on deposits up to 100,000 euros ($110,200), as it comes under political pressure to shield retail clients from the effects of ultra-low interest rates. European banks are grappling with the consequences of the European Central Bank's September decision to cut its key deposit rate further into negative territory, making it tougher for them to earn money from their traditional lending business. Dutch finance minister Wopke Hoekstra in September said he would talk to banks about the consequences of negative interest rates, but resisted calls by politicians for an outright ban of them on smaller deposits.
ABN Amro <ABNd.AS> on Wednesday became the first of the three big Dutch banks to bow to political pressure and promise not to apply negative interest rates to savings accounts of less than 100,000 euros (£86,120.66). The banking industry is grappling with the consequences of the European Central Bank's September decision to cut its key deposit rate further into negative territory, making it tougher to earn money from traditional lending. Many banks, including ABN Amro which is still 56% government owned, already charge negative interest rates on deposits held by large clients and have lowered the rates they offer on smaller savings accounts close to zero.
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ABN Amro is being investigated for money laundering in a new blow to shares in the Dutch bank, which prosecutors allege failed to report or probe suspicious transactions for years. The Netherlands has been the target of several inquiries into suspected money laundering and investigators last year estimated that around 13 billion euros ($14.2 billion) was laundered each year through the country between 2004 and 2014, a sum equivalent to roughly 2% of Dutch GDP. Dutch prosecutors said in March they were evaluating signs of Dutch bank involvement in a money laundering network which allegedly channelled billions of euros from Russia.
* China's conciliatory statement boosts European stocks * STOXX 600 +0.7%, FTSE 100 +1.2% * Tech stocks outperform, luxury underperforms * Pearson and Imperial Brands slump on profit warnings Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Thyagaraju Adinarayan. Reach him on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: rm://email@example.com A DEEPER LOOK INTO THE LONDON TRIO'S PROFIT WARNINGS (1009 GMT) A cigarette maker, an airline and an education group - what's the one thing in common between them today? Combined $5 billion has been wiped from London blue-chips Pearson, Imperial Brands and British Airways-owner IAG as they warned on full-year profits.
Around 18,000 building projects in the Netherlands, worth billions of euros, risk being shelved due to a recent court order on nitrogen emissions, the Dutch government said on Friday. The country's highest court in May ruled that the way Dutch builders and farmers dealt with nitrogen emissions was in breach with European laws. "This is a huge problem, for which no easy solution exists," Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on Friday.
* European stocks recover losses after 3-day rout * FTSE lags on miners, financial services * Investors seek out bargains, but worry about trade spat * Bayer and Lanxess gain after divesting chemical park unit Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Josephine Mason. Reach her on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: rm://firstname.lastname@example.org A SENSE OF DEJA VU IN STOCK MARKETS (0949 GMT) European markets have lost close to 4.5% since Trump's latest tariff threat and there is a sense of deja vu in this. A quick look at how some sectors performed 6 days after Trump's threat in May versus 4 trading days after the August threat suggests there has been a sharper move this time but in both cases, the same names underperformed markets.
* European stocks recover losses after 3-day rout * FTSE lags on miners, financial services * Investors seek out bargains, but worry about trade spat * Bayer and Lanxess gain after divesting chemical park unit Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Josephine Mason. Reach her on Messenger to share your thoughts on market moves: rm://email@example.com MINERS: NEGATIVE CATALYSTS (0856 GMT) Miners are not having a great time of late as escalating trade tensions send shivers through the sector and the industry index is trading at fresh 2019 lows with disappointing results from Glencore being the latest drag to the index, which the only one that's missing out on today's rebound in Europe.
Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Josephine Mason. Europe's stock futures are staging a very tentative recovery from a punishing three-day sell-off that knocked more than 5% of the pan European STOXX 600 index as nervous investors return to riskier assets and seek out bargains amid continued worries about the escalating trade war between Washington and Beijing. "We've gone from being hopeful a couple of weeks ago that talks in Shanghai would aid progress towards a deal and the removal of tariffs, to new tariffs, China no longer buying US agricultural goods and the US labeling China a currency manipulator.
Welcome to the home for real-time coverage of European equity markets brought to you by Reuters stocks reporters and anchored today by Josephine Mason. Concerns about the health of corporate Europe are deepening as Q2 results season continues (this morning, there's a flurry of bank results). Back to today with a mixed bag of results from financial services companies - Italy's biggest bank by assets UniCredit has cut its revenue target for 2019 due to expectations of lower for longer interest rates, while the country's No. 3 lender, Banco BPM , reported a sharp rise in net profit for the three months through June helped by capital gains and an improvement in core revenues.