When one of your biggest investors is a debatably constitutional monarchy sitting on the world's third largest oil reserve, you got to be careful not to take them for granted.
Qatari investors who own the largest stake in Deutsche Bank do not plan to sell their shares and could consider buying more if the embattled German bank decides to raise capital, sources familiar with Qatari investment policy told Reuters.
Funds controlled by Qatar's former Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani bought 6.1 percent of Deutsche in mid-2014 and increased their stake to just under 10 percent, including options, in July this year.
Wait, almost 10% of Deutsche Bank? Well doesn't that mean...
Deutsche shares plunged to record intra-day lows below 10 euros last week on Friday and although they have since rebounded to just above 12 euros, they are 13 percent below last month's peak and 46 percent below their close at the end of last year.
That implies the Qataris may have lost, on paper, over $1.2 billion on their investments in the bank.
Luckily, the rough Qatari exchange rate on $1.2 billion approximates to "pocket lint" so there's not a furious Emir somewhere on the Arabian Peninsula ready to declare war on the House of Cryin' Cryan. In fact, the Qataris are even trying to play it cool by saying that they won't sell their suddenly way-less-valuable DB shares just because they got hosed so massively by the slow-moving disaster that is Deutsche's 2016.
A second source said the Qataris had no intention of selling out. "This is a long-term investment. Qatar believes it will all work out well for the bank in the end."
How positively Pollyanna-esque! That's the kind of optimism DB is looking for these days! So how about this little idea: Deutsche needs a cash infusion like pronto and Qatar is essentially a pile of moneyin the Persian Gulf pretending to be a country. If the Qataris are so sanguine about Cryan's ability to turn this baby around maybe they should buy some (or a metric shit-ton) more shares? After all, who has better insight into how painfully cheap Deutsche Bank stock is right now?
"Purchasing more stock - that could be considered ... which is not to say there are any imminent plans to do that," said the source, declining to be named as the matter is confidential.
If a capital hike does turn out to be required, "they would probably take part in it as they want to keep their roughly 10 percent stake. But they want to stay below the 10 percent threshold" for regulatory reasons, the source added.
So, the Qataris are interested in keeping Deutsch Bank afloat, but, like, not super interested. They'll throw some more money at the problem, if maybe only enough to keep John Cryan's slim hopes alive.