Deutsche Bank and Alphabet earnings, UK gets new PM
Daniel Garrahan previews some of the stories the FT is watching in the week ahead, including results from Deutsche Bank and Alphabet, the European Central Bank's Governing Council meeting and a new prime minister in the UK when the Tory party leadership contest concludes.
Written by Daniel Garrahan, Simon Greaves and Olaf Storbeck. Filmed by Rod Fitzgerald and Nicola Stansfield. Produced and edited by Daniel Garrahan.
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Here are just some of the stories the Financial Times will be watching in the week ahead.
Deutsche Bank publishes half-year results just weeks after announcing restructuring and job cuts. After a disappointing first three months of 2019, Google's parent company, Alphabet, reports second quarter earnings. The European Central Bank's governing council meets to discuss monetary policy, and the UK gets a new prime minister when the Tory party leadership contest concludes.
First, the Deutsche Bank, which publishes half-year results on Wednesday. Germany's largest bank recently unveiled a massive restructuring, with radical cuts to its loss-making trading operations, cutting 18,000 jobs and a fifth of its balance sheet. Analysts and media attention will be watching Deutsche's progress on execution, in particular, the job numbers. The bank started firing people just a day after the announcement.
Chief Executive Christian Sewing may also disclose details of his commitment to invest a substantial amount of his fixed salary into Deutsche Bank shares. From a purely financial perspective, Deutsche's second quarter results will look ugly. It will have to digest 3 billion euros in restructuring costs. This will result in a net loss of 2.8 billion euros, with another 2.1 billion euros in restructuring costs due later this year.
Investors will be looking for where the growth comes from. The parts of the bank that are left, which are targeted to improve, such as the transaction bank, doing general corporate services, not the trading side, which is being drastically slashed.
So we'll be keeping an eye on that, and keeping an eye on also executives' commentary around what they think the market conditions are. Because whilst we have very good visibility on what's being cut, what we need to see more visibility on is what's growing. We'll also get a much closer look at what the bank's headcount will look like, as well as the new management team, and really getting a look at the new Deutsche Bank after a two-decade expansion into US-style investment banking, which they finally called time on this year.
Now to Google's parent company, Alphabet, which report second quarter results on Thursday. It's one of the largest tech companies in the world, but its performance so far this year has disappointed. Analysts' confidence in Alphabet stock fell after a reported revenue growth of 17 per cent in the first three months of the year.
Quarterly revenue hit $36.3 billion, a huge figure, but it was still about a billion less than the consensus forecast. Alphabet blamed the shortfall on a number of factors, including the strength of the US dollar and a tough comparison with a strong quarter last year. Investors will be watching Thursday's results closely to see if it can regain positive momentum.
For Alphabet, the key question is whether what happened in the first quarter, when the overall growth rate fell to 17 per cent , whether it represents something fundamental in Google's advertising business, which is now slowing to a mid-teens growth rate, or whether it was just a one-off, a lack of new innovation in advertising formats, that might have just slowed growth for the quarter. The outcome of that will really determine how the stock looks for the rest of this year. And Wall Street is looking for at least 17 per cent growth this quarter.
And now to the European Central Bank, which meets to discuss monetary policy and interest rates this week. The ECB made it clear last week that rate setters were ready to act if necessary to help eurozone inflation move towards its target of close to, but below, two per cent .
ECB board member Ben Walker said the eurozone economy was showing signs of weaker growth in the second and third quarters, and he warned of global trading uncertainties affecting all manufacturers. Expectations for new stimulus measures, should the region's economic slowdown intensify, have driven a powerful rally in eurozone government debt in recent weeks. This has depressed the yields on bonds across the board.
And finally, to the UK, where the results of the Conservative Party leadership race is set to be announced early this week. Voting for the party's 160,000 members closed on Sunday. The front-runner is the former foreign secretary and former mayor of London Boris Johnson. He's been taken on at the hustings by current foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt.
The candidate who secures more than 50 per cent of the vote will lead the party and the country. Mr Johnson was clear favourite for the post from the outset, and polls among the Tory membership and the general voting public make Mr Hunt's chances look near impossible, and the bookmakers agree.
Attention is focused on two things - who will be in the next cabinet? Unlike Mrs May's cabinet, it won't be a balance of leavers or remainers. This will be a Brexit-focused cabinet. If Boris Johnson takes over, focused on that one task of getting out by the 31st of October, and with the remainers purged.
The other task before this new government is, can they survive what's likely to be a lot of parliamentary guerrilla warfare to try and prevent the UK crashing out without a deal with the EU on the 31st of October?
And that's what the week ahead looks like from the Financial Times in London.