Yigit Bulut, a chief adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the country must consider using a new wealth fund or a group of state-owned banks to buy the Frankfurt-based company. Bulut made the proposal on Tuesday via his Twitter account, saying Germany’s largest lender should be made into a Turkish bank.
The stock of Europe’s biggest investment bank has slumped by more than 50 percent over the past year, falling to a record low on Tuesday, over concerns about its weakening financial position and penalties in the U.S. tied to mortgage-backed securities. Bulut’s comments come after Moody’s Investors Service on Sept. 23 cut Turkey to junk, citing slowing economic growth and deteriorating credit fundamentals.
"For months on TV programs, I’ve been calling on Turkey’s private and public capital: ‘Some very good companies in the EU are going to fall into trouble and we need to be ready to buy a controlling stake in them,’” Bulut wrote on Twitter. "Wouldn’t you be happy to make Germany’s biggest bank into Turkish Bank!!"
The suggestion may ignite political opposition in Germany, where Deutsche Bank -- for all its troubles -- has long been viewed as a national champion and has played an integral role in Germany’s economy.
Financial StrengthTurkey’s financial industry, long viewed as a source of strength for the $700 billion economy, has suffered some loss of market confidence over the past few years.
The market capitalization of the country’s publicly traded lenders stands just above $49 billion, roughly the size of General Motors Co. and about half what it was in 2013, while that of Deutsche Bank is almost $17 billion. Banking assets in the country amounted to about $836 billion at the end of July, while Deutsche Bank had total assets of 1.63 trillion euros ($1.83 trillion) at the end of last year.