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UBS Buys Credit Suisse; U.S. Bank Upgraded, PacWest, N.Y. Community Bank Rally| Investor’s Business Daily

The bank crisis continued to unfold Monday as UBS (UBS) agreed on Sunday to buy Credit Suisse (CS), but the Swiss bank isn’t in the clear yet. Elsewhere, First Republic (FRC) tumbled as it plots a stock sale and U.S. Bancorp (USB) jetted higher on an upgrade.

The FDIC secured a deal to sell most of Signature Bank (SBNY) assets. And central banks team up to enhance U.S. dollar liquidity.

Financial stocks were mixed early Monday following the latest developments in the bank crisis.


UBS Buys Credit Suisse

Swiss regulators brokered a deal on Sunday for UBS to buy fellow Swiss banking giant Credit Suisse for 3 billion Swiss francs, which equates to $3.24 billion. The combined institution has more than $5 trillion in assets invested globally.

The Swiss National Bank provided a $108 billion liquidity-assistance loan to UBS to facilitate the deal. And the government pledged $9.7 billion to backstop losses as part of the takeover.

Roughly $17 billion in Credit Suisse debt will be dissolved as part of the deal, hanging bondholders out to dry. And Credit Suisse shareholders will receive one Swiss share of UBS stock for every 22.48 Swiss CS shares they own, according to the announcement.

The combined company provides total annual cost savings of $8 billion by 2027. Large staff cuts are likely, but the final number is still unclear. Credit Suisse was planning to cut around 9,000 positions prior to the deal.

Last week, Credit Suisse received a $54 billion injection from the Swiss National Bank to help prop it up. Credit Suisse American depositary receipts cratered more than 58% premarket Monday. UBS shares rose 5.5% early Monday after sliding more than 3% before the bell.

U.S. Bancorp Upgrade

Baird upgraded its rating on U.S. Bancorp Monday to outperform from neutral with a 52 price target. Analyst David George believes the risk-reward trade-off remains “very attractive,” he wrote in a research note. U.S. Bancorp and other large regional banks will likely benefit from a deposit funding perspective. “The stocks are more inexpensive today than they were during the pandemic, and if you don’t buy banks here, we aren’t sure when you do,” the firm wrote. George called U.S. Bancorp a “high-quality regional bank with little to no downside and (about) 50% upside over time.”

USB stock rose 6.7% early Monday.

First Republic Downgraded, Plots Stock Sale

S&P Global downgraded First Republic Bank deeper into junk status Sunday to mark its second downgrade in a week. Moody’s and Fitch cut their First Republic ratings to junk last week.

On Friday, First Republic sought to raise cash in a private stock sale to other banks and private equity firms, the New York Times reported after market close. Late Thursday, The San Francisco-based outfit suspended its dividend after receiving a $30 billion rescue deposit from America’s 11 largest banks during the day. Citigroup (C), Wells Fargo (WFC), Bank of America (BAC) and JPMorgan (JPM) led the deposit.

Last Sunday, First Republic secured $70 billion in additional liquidity from JPMorgan and the Federal Reserve.

FRC stock fell 15% early Monday after it dove 18% premarket.

FDIC Secures Signature Bank Sale

On Sunday, the FDIC announced a deal to sell substantially all of Signature Bank’s deposits and some loans to Flagstar Bank, the wholly-owned subsidiary of New York Community Bancorp (NYCB). NYCB stock leapt 38% early Monday following the news.

Signature Bank’s 40 former branches began operating during normal business hours on Monday under Flagstar Bank. Depositors, except for digital banking customers, will automatically become Flagstar Bank customers. However, the Flagstar bid did not include the $4 billion in deposits related to Signature Bank’s digital banking business. The FDIC will provide digital banking deposits directly to customers.

The agency expects Signature Bank’s failure to cost the Deposit Insurance Fund $2.5 billion, but the exact cost will be determined once receivership is terminated.

Central Bank Coordination

On Sunday, the Federal Reserve, European Central Bank and other global central banks announced increases in dollar swap operations to daily from weekly in an effort to boost U.S. dollar liquidity. The operations began Monday and will continue at least through the end of April. The Bank of Canada, Bank of Japan and Swiss National Bank are also participating.

Government Intervention

On Sunday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said she wants to lift the FDIC deposit insurance cap from $250,000 to millions of dollars during a CBS News interview on “Face The Nation.” Warren also called for greater accountability for banking executives, echoing similar calls from President Biden last week.

PacWest Update

PacWest Bancorp (PACW) reported that it “continues to have solid liquidity,” with over $10.8 billion in available cash, according to a Friday update. The company’s cash exceeds its uninsured deposits, and since last Monday, “net outflows have fallen sharply, with deposit balance fluctuations substantially stabilizing,” PacWest announced. PACW stock spiked 18% early Monday after dropping nearly 19% Friday.

Bitcoin, Cryptocurrencies Skyrocket

Meanwhile, bitcoin continues to set nine-month highs amid the bank crisis, hitting a new peak of $28,554 overnight. Ethereum hovered around $1,780 early Monday after spiking to $1,845 late Sunday. BTC is up roughly 19% so far this month and 70% year-to-date.

MicroStrategy (MSTR), the software company that’s been spending billions on bitcoin, is up 89% year-to-date. Crypto exchange Coinbase (COIN) skyrocketed more than 111% so far in 2023.

Bank Stocks

Regional banks were a mixed bag early Monday after following First Republic lower Friday.

PacWest Bancorp (PACW) soared 18% after the open. New York Community Bancorp (NYCB) soared nearly 38%.

Zions Bancorp (ZION) climbed 7.7% after dropping 6.8% Friday. Western Alliance (WAL) rebounded 4.8%. PNC Financial (PNC) gained 4.3%.

JPM stock gained 2% Monday, following its 3.8% retreat Friday. Wells Fargo rose 0.9% after weakening 4% before the weekend. Goldman Sachs (GS) climbed 2.2%, having slipped 3.7% Friday.

You can follow Harrison Miller for more stock news and updates on Twitter @IBD_Harrison


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