Deutsche Bank quarterly profits more than triple

FRANKFURT: Deutsche Bank said on Wednesday that its net income more than tripled in the third quarter, the latest strong result from major banks more than a year after the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Germany's biggest bank said that according to preliminary estimates, net profit was 1.4 billion euros (2.1 billion dollars), up from 440 million euros in the same period a year ago.

Deutsche Bank declined German state aid, taken up by number two Commerzbank and a raft of state-owned regional banks in the wake of Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy, and is now poised to benefit from a recovery in the sector.

Its pretax profit climbed to 1.3 billion euros from just 93 million euros in the year-earlier period, but its bottom line was also boosted by tax reimbursements following audits of previous years' results.

That disappointed investors who drove the bank's share price down sharply in early Frankfurt trading.

Merck Finck analyst Konrad Becker told AFP those reimbursements could amount to as much as 500 million euros, but said profit taking was probably also behind the fall in Deutsche Bank shares.

The bank is to release full results on October 29, and some figures could change in the meantime, it said.

But the Frankfurt-based lender added that all its business segments posted "positive results," and that its "tier one" capital ratio, a closely watched measure of its financial soundness, improved to 11.7 percent from 10.3 percent.

Just over a year after the failure of US investment banking giant Lehman Brothers drove the global financial system to the brink of collapse, sector bellwethers like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup also posted strong results last week.

Analysts nonetheless focused on the tax effects from which Deutsche Bank benefitted, with one telling Dow Jones Newswires that such one-off items were frustrating.

The pre-tax result was only slightly better than the 1.2 billion euros expected, he added.

Deutsche Bank shares fell sharply in morning trading on the Frankfurt stock exchange, losing 3.16 percent to 53.59 euros while the DAX index of leading shares was essentially unchanged overall.

"That cannot be tied to the figures," Becker said, estimating that it might be the result of profit taking because the shares had recently been gaining in value.