Gas shortage risks ‘unforeseeable consequences’ for Germany, warns Commerzbank


A severe shortage of pure gasoline provides may set off “a chain reaction with unforeseeable consequences” for the German financial system, warned Commerzbank, one of many nation’s greatest company lenders.

The German financial institution warned on Wednesday of a “severe recession” within the nation if Russia minimize off gasoline provides, saying it may set off an financial disaster comparable “to the one that occurred after the financial crisis in 2009”.

Commerzbank added that the rationing of gasoline would then “probably be inevitable”.

Germany’s banks are notably uncovered to the large improve in gasoline costs triggered by Russia’s transfer final month to sharply cut back provides. Prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Germany imported 55 per cent of its pure gasoline from Russia, however provides by the Nord Stream 1 pipeline have fallen to a fifth of its capability and policymakers worry that they is likely to be minimize fully.

The German authorities is making ready for gasoline rationing within the winter and frantically looking for different sources, encourage vitality financial savings and replenish the nation’s gasoline storage.

Commerzbank mentioned the influence of shortages would unfold rapidly by the German financial system since pure gasoline isn’t just a vital supply of vitality but additionally an essential uncooked materials utilized in different industries.

The financial institution mentioned that the chemical compounds and plastics business accounted for 1.1 per cent of its credit score publicity. Other sectors extremely uncovered to potential shortfalls in gasoline provides and surging vitality prices — utilities, building and the paper business — contribute one other 3.8 per cent of the financial institution’s mortgage ebook of €384bn.

The lender pointed to BASF, the world’s largest chemical compounds firm by income, which has mentioned that the group’s huge manufacturing web site in Ludwigshafen must be shut down ought to gasoline provides fall under 50 per cent.

However, international gamers akin to BASF can briefly soften potential provide setbacks due to their crops within the Americas, Asia and fewer affected elements of Europe, Commerzbank added.

The warnings got here as Commerzbank reported a €228mn hit from the financial fallout of the struggle in Ukraine within the second quarter.

However, the lender swung to an even bigger than anticipated internet revenue within the interval as increased rates of interest and elevated fee earnings pushed up quarterly income by 30 per cent to €2.4bn. Net revenue within the quarter was €470mn, in contrast with a lack of €527mn the 12 months earlier than. Analysts had on common anticipated a revenue of €370mn, in keeping with a ballot printed by the financial institution.

Anke Reingen, an analyst at RBS Capital Markets, mentioned that whereas the financial institution’s outcomes had been optimistic, the “gas outlook remains a material overhang” for the lender.

Commerzbank’s degree of loans in default within the quarter rose by 8.9 per cent to €1.53bn and it expects to ebook take a €700mn hit from mortgage loss provisions within the full 12 months.

The group mentioned it was on observe to satisfy its 2022 revenue goal of greater than €1bn ought to Germany be capable to keep away from a recession triggered by gasoline shortages.

“We are well equipped for upcoming challenges,” chief monetary officer Bettina Orlopp mentioned. The financial institution’s frequent equity tier 1 ratio, an important benchmark of its steadiness sheet power, rose 13.7 per cent, in contrast with 13.5 per cent within the first quarter.

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