Bank of America CEO on Potential Europe, Asia Acquisitions (BAC)

Includes: BAC, C, HSBC

Bank of America (ticker: BAC) reported Q4 2005 earnings results this morning. Chairman and CEO Ken Lewis had the following to say during management's conference call with analysts:

With regard to acquisitions, obviously we want a flawless execution on the MBNA transition. And so we'll be working -- be really planning, focused to get to that point, and then having a successful one, and so there's really nothing in our mind about acquisitions at this point.

I had said before that I can't see an on the ground European acquisition because the growth rates there are not as good as they are in the U.S., and, therefore, I don't think you could make the arithmetic work.

And then in Asia, we have no interest in buying a bank in Asia. We have actually a prohibition in China from being in the retail business because of our contract with CCB.

So other than building out our capabilities in Europe and Asia on the wholesale side, I just don't see anything at the moment. Again, we never say never, but I do, in fact, think this could be a period of time very similar to that 1998 to 2003 time where we just executed and there weren't any major acquisitions. If something changed, it would be, it is not in my mind or I cannot see it at the moment.

(Quotes are from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)

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