Bullish on the banking sector, Sy Jacobs' favorite way to play is a bet on consolidation of the...

|By:, SA News Editor

Bullish on the banking sector, Sy Jacobs' favorite way to play is a bet on consolidation of the community bank business. Consolidation has actually slowed since the crisis, but the new regulatory regime - pushing up fixed costs against community banks' small asset bases - is sure to rev things up. Favorite plays include PBNY and STL - in the process of what should be a highly profitable merger. There's also BHLB - a busy New England acquirer run by a protege of Larry Bossidy - whose next target may be UBNK. Others: ONB and Puerto Rico's OFG.