Shares of Deutsche Bank slumped more than 4 percent Thursday after a report said the embattled German lender is gearing up for a potential merger with rival Commerzbank by mid-2019.
Shares in Commerzbank slipped by a similar amount.
The report, from Bloomberg citing anonymous sources, noted the deal is being brokered by the German government and would happen if efforts to restructure the bank fell short of targets.
A spokesperson for Deutsche Bank declined to comment on the report when contacted by CNBC.
While the German government has made no official statement on the potential merger, speaking to CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week, Finance Minister Peter Altmaier said he is willing to lend "political support" to Deutsche Bank in its recovery path.
"Deutsche Bank ... suffered some setbacks in the past, but it is basically sound and it can recover and so the question is what are the details of such strategy. And as we discussed with the CEO and the board and all the people concerned, I trust in Deutsche Bank and I will lend my political support to Deutsche Bank," he said.