Deutsche Bank says profits halved on legal provisions

Deutsche Bank, Germany's biggest bank, said on Tuesday its net profits were halved in the second quarter, as it made massive provisions to meet litigation costs.

The bank's net profits fell to 335 million euros ($444 million) for the three months ending June, down from 666 million in the second quarter last year.

This missed market expectations by a wide margin. Analysts polled by Dow Jones Newswires had forecast about 869 million euros in profits.

But 630 million euros set aside by the bank had eaten into its profits for the quarter.

Deutsche Bank is currently facing several legal challenges including a case in the United States related to subprime mortgages, as well as a tax fraud case linked to the trading of carbon emission permits in Europe.

The bank, one of the biggest in Europe, has been making provisions for legal costs, with 600 million euros set aside in the last quarter of 2012.

In the second quarter, its revenues were up 2 percent to 8.2 billion euros, according to its earnings report Tuesday.

Investors were unimpressed, with shares in Deutsche Bank falling 2.7 percent to 34.9 euros on the Frankfurt stock exchange at 0835 GMT.

The bank also plans to reduce the volume of its assets by about 250 billion euros, or around 12 percent, in order to meet new international solvency requirements, financial director Stefan Krause said.

"We are committed to reduce (our assets), over time, by 250 billion euros," he told a conference call, without specifying the timeframe.

The amount would correspond to about 12 percent of Deutsche Bank's balance sheet at the end of December.

Like its competitors, Deutsche Bank is under pressure to improve its solvency with several new rules, both at European and international level, being put into place with particular emphasis on the leverage ratio, a calculation based on a bank's own capital in relation to its total assets.