Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

ABA Stock Index Chalks Up Decade

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

ABA Stock Index Chalks Up Decade

Article excerpt

ONLY A FEW HOURS before ending the NASDAQ markets day with its symbolic "closing bell"--actually a button pressed in a studio in New York City's Times Square--ABA Chairman Jeff Plagge commented on the significance of ABA's ABAQ stock index at an event marking its ten-year anniversary.

The 380 NASDAQ-traded banks in the index--the ABA NASDAQ Community Bank Index--"are classic community banks," said Plagge, president and CEO of Northwest Financial Corp., Arnolds Park, Iowa. "Community banks are an attractive investment," Plagge added, "because they are relevant."

The index, a pioneer in being an industry-specific index when it was founded, ushered in an age of thousands of such measures, according to David Krein, managing director and head of NASDAQ-OMX Index Research, which assisted in the formulation of the original index. Since then, the group of banks has been regularly supplemented with additional players. The index includes all but the largest banks on NASDAQ.

The index has reflected the industry's trends of ups and downs. But officials at a conference marking the anniversary noted that the index has shown a 37.27% return for 2013 year-to-date. Over its ten-year history, the index has shown an 18.43% return. Both figures are as of Nov. 22.

As part of the anniversary event, ABA Chief Operating Officer Mike Hunter engaged a panel of experts on the economy, bank capital, and banking. Two professional bank investors with very different perspectives expressed the appeal they saw in community bank securities.

"There's a lot of consolidation yet to come, and that's opportunity to me," said Anton Schutz, president and CEO, Mendon Capital Advisors. …

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