FRANKFURT, April 1, 2008 (AFP) – Deutsche Bank unveiled huge asset writedowns linked to the international banking crisis on Tuesday, but the amount still managed to pale in comparison to those announced by Swiss bank UBS. Deutsche Bank, the biggest German bank, said it estimated first-quarter writedowns would reach roughly 2.5 billion euros (3.9 billion dollars) owing to bad loans in the housing sector, more than the total of less than 2.3 billion in provisions booked last year.
But its announcement came as UBS took the wraps off a second round of provisions amounting to about 19 billion dollars, the single biggest hit so far from a financial crisis that was sparked by the collapse of the US market for high risk, or subprime, mortgages last year.
UBS had already written down 18.4 billion dollars in 2007, while Deutsche bank had said it written down 2.2 billion euros in the third quarter but just 50 million in the fourth quarter, and appeared to have scraped by.
US banks Citigroup and Merrill Lynch have each posted close to 20 billion dollars in writedowns, while the only way out for Bear Stearns was to find someone willing to buy it.
Several public German banks are also among those hit hardest by the su