The last inflation cycle was from early 2016 to mid-2018 driven by a big impulse from China lifting the country’s producer prices and thereby exporting inflation to the world. During that period, the core CPI in Europe rose 60 bps. and headline CPI rose almost 200 bps., with European banks seeing their price-to-book ratio increase by 0.4 points driven by rising yields, steeper yield, and improving credit conditions. Deutsche Bank has many times been called the sick man of European finance, but the latest CEO Christian Sewing has reversed many fundamentals and the news flow on European finance is no longer outright negative.
Our view is that the value vs growth, higher inflation, and higher interest rates, will continue the mean reversion happening in the German 10-year yield and help European banks move back to the average price-to-book ratio since 2009 of 0.8x and likely beyond to 0.9x helped by macro policies. This means from current levels that European financials could see a 21-36% upside over the coming 6-12 months.