Oct. 31, 2015, 2:04 PM
- Sizable bank mergers were supposed to be no-brainers as lenders - weighed down by a sluggish lending environment, overlapping branch networks, and high regulatory costs - sought operating synergies. Unfortunately, regulators since the financial crisis have had different ideas about what banks should be doing with their capital (namely, storing it for a rainy day).
- The M&T/Hudson City merger finally getting approval (after a three-year delay), along with quick green lights for a couple of BB&T purchases began to give investors hope, and this week they got KeyCorp (NYSE:KEY) agreeing to buy First Niagara (NASDAQ:FNFG), and New York Community Bancorp's (NYSE:NYCB) deal for Astoria Financial (NYSE:AF).
- The reaction: KeyCorp is lower by more than 10% since the news was announced, and First Niagara by more than 6%; NYCB is off nearly 14%, and Astoria 11%.
- "This level of selloff is not typical," says Sterne Agee's Peter Winter. "Early reactions to bank transactions often are bumpy," says KeyCorp CEO Beth Mooney.
- CLSA's Mike Mayo calls Key's purchase "strategically good," but isn't a fan of the bank's plan to fund a major portion of the deal with stock. NYCB is also funding much of its buy with stock, and the deal includes a cut in the dividend - maybe not the greatest move considering the income-oriented lean of the bank's investor base, says Winter.
- Previously: More losses for NYCB as secondary prices; Astoria lower too (Oct. 30)
- Previously: KeyCorp not expecting M&T-like deal hold-up (Oct. 30)
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, BTO, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, FINU, QABA, KRU, KBWR, RWW, RYF, FINZ, KRS, XLFS
Jul. 22, 2015, 3:01 PM
- The OCC yesterday gave the green light to CIT Group's $3.4B purchase of OneWest Financial, and earlier this month regulators approved BB&T's $2.5B acquisition of Susquehanna Bancshares.
- Possibly lifted now is concern nearly any sizable deal would get nixed (or delayed to death) by D.C. a la M&T's attempt to purchase Hudson City Bancorp (originally announced three years ago).
- Both the CIT and BB&T deals, however, were approved within a year of their announcement, maybe making the M&T/Hudson experience the outlier rather than the norm.
- While it still appears unlikely much bigger deals could win approval, the path could be clear for smaller-to-medium sized lenders to do business. Drexel Hamilton's David Hilder believes the CIT approval is a "positive catalyst" for acquisitions of lenders with up to $25B in assets.
- Previously: CIT Group gains after winning regulatory green light for OneWest purchase (July 21)
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, BTO, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, FINU, QABA, KRU, KBWR, RWW, RYF, PSCF, FINZ, KRS
Nov. 12, 2014, 11:03 AM
- Regulatory headwinds in banking are "plateauing," says BB&T (BBT -2.5%) chief Kelly King, appearing on CNBC after his bank's agreement to purchase Susquehanna Bancorp (SUSQ +32.1%) for about $2.5B. The issues being talked about today are quickly become yesterday's news, he says.
- Speaking with analysts/investors on a conference call, King says the two lenders had been in talks for several months. One wonders if the deal's announcement one week after last week's Republican landslide is just a coincidence.
- BB&T, says King, is very interested in other opportunities, but naturally the price has to be right. Texas? Not interested, he says, as those lenders are asking 2x-3x book (SUSQ looks like it's being purchased for about 1.7x tangible book).
- A move further up the East coast? King says BB&T could eventually move into NYC and Boston, but for now will focus on the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast.
- Possibly helping to push Susquehanna into a sale (and no doubt on the minds of other smaller lenders) are the compliance costs associated with the Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering rules, and King notes SUSQ can now fold those costs into BB&T's.
- Previously: First Niagara on the move after BB&T/Susquehanna deal
- Regional and small-cap bank ETFs: KRE, KBE, IAT, KBWB, RKH, QABA, KRU, KBWR, PSCF, KRS