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Deutsche Pfandbriefbank under siege! Short sellers smash records amid property market plunge - Can the bank survive?

Deutsche Pfandbriefbank under siege

Short sellers, as indicated by data from S&P Global Market Intelligence released on Tuesday, have significantly ramped up their positions against Deutsche Pfandbriefbank (PBB), a German financial institution currently grappling with the challenges stemming from a downturn in commercial property markets.

This surge in short interest underscores mounting pessimism among investors regarding PBB's prospects in the face of market headwinds.

The practice of shorting a company involves investors borrowing shares with the anticipation that the share price will decline. In the context of PBB, short sellers have borrowed shares at an unprecedented rate, with the proportion of the bank's stock on loan reaching a peak of 19% of its market capitalization on Thursday, the highest level observed since the bank went public in 2015.

This borrowing activity has since moderated slightly, receding to 17% by the following Tuesday, still reflective of a notable bearish sentiment surrounding the bank's outlook.

Just a fortnight ago, short interest in PBB's shares stood at less than 8%, highlighting the stark contrast in investor sentiment over a remarkably short period.

The rapid escalation in short positions underscores the growing concerns among market participants about PBB's ability to navigate through the prevailing market challenges successfully.

PBB, however, has refrained from providing commentary on the situation. Earlier this month, in an attempt to assuage investor concerns, the bank sought to reassure stakeholders regarding its financial stability in the face of a potential downturn in the property market, which has adversely affected numerous financial institutions globally.

In the wake of these developments, PBB's shares have witnessed a precipitous decline, shedding 30% of their value over the course of February alone. Moreover, the price of one of its bonds has plummeted to a record low following a credit rating downgrade by S&P Global last week.

This downgrade was prompted by concerns surrounding PBB's exposure to commercial real estate, exacerbating anxieties surrounding the bank's overall financial health and stability.



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