European bank ETFs dominated the top 10 best performing strategies in the week ending 15 March, after reports Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank had begun tentative merger talks gave a boost to the sector.

According to data from Ultumus, four European bank ETFs made the top 10 last week. The strongest performer out of the four was the $516m Lyxor EURO STOXX Banks (DR) UCITS ETF (BNKE), which rose 6.01% over the week.

This was closely followed by the $1.5bn iShares EURO STOXX Banks 30-15 UCITS ETF, which jumped 5.98% while the $279m Invesco EURO STOXX Optimised Banks UCITS ETF and the $4.7m Invesco STOXX Europe 600 Optimised Financial Services UCITS ETF rounded off the top four, both climbing 5.97%.

It was revealed on 10 March by German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that the two German were under political pressure to consider a merger and avoid a foreign takeover of Commerzbank.

The two banks subsequently issued statements on 17 March confirming they were in talks over a potential merger.

Along with the merger talks between the two German banks, another reason for the sector's performance was shares in Banco Santander, which makes up 17.1% of BNKE, jumping 5.8% over the week while BNP Paribas BNKE's second largest weighting rose 2.2%.

Overall, the best performing fund of the week was the $3bn ETFS Lean Hogs, which climbed 11.8%.

Top 10 performing ETFs (11 March - 15 March)

ETFS Lean Hogs 11.76%
ETFS Longer Dated Lean Hogs 11.37%
UBS ETF (IE) Solactive Global Oil Equities UCITS ETF 6.63%
ETFS GBP Daily Hdg. WTI Crude Oil 6.27%
Lyxor EURO STOXX Banks (DR) UCITS ETF 6.01%
iShares EURO STOXX Banks 30-15 UCITS ETF (DE) 5.98%
Invesco EURO STOXX Optimised Banks UCITS ETF 5.97%
ETFS EUR Daily Hdg. Wheat 5.97%
Invesco STOXX Europe 600 Optimised Financial Services UCITS ETF 5.97%
ETFS Swiss Franc Daily Hedged Wheat 5.62%
Source: Ultumus