Magazine article American Banker

M&T and NationsBank Texas Tap the Market

Magazine article American Banker

M&T and NationsBank Texas Tap the Market

Article excerpt

Banks completed several capital-raising transactions this week, in a flurry of activity before an anticipated Independence Day lull in the market.

Manufacturers and Traders Trust Corp. and NationsBank's Texas subsidiary issued new notes.

Securing a relatively low 7% yield, Manufacturers and Traders, a subsidiary of First Empire State Corp., issued $100 million in 10-year subordinated bonds.

Meanwhile, NationsBank of Texas issued $500 million of two-year floating-rate notes.

Wells Fargo & Co. filed a shelf registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission to offer up to $2.06 billion of notes, common and preferred stock, depositary shares, and capital securities.

And Bankers Trust New York Corp. issued $125 million in cumulative perpetual preferred stock.

Brought to market by Merrill Lynch & Co., the M&T bonds were priced at 87.5 basis points over comparable Treasuries.

"M&T bank has had very strong loan growth," said Jay M. Weintraub, a first vice president of fixed-income research at Merrill Lynch.

The bank's Tier 2 capital ratio was dropping toward 10%, said Mr. Weintraub, and the bank brought the notes to market to bring the capital ratio back to around 11%.

Analysts said the relative scarcity of M&T bonds presented a good buying opportunity.

"I would recommend them to investors," said David Hendler, a fixed- income analyst at Smith Barney Inc. "Their bonds are almost a museum piece, since they rarely come to market, and they rarely trade. The bonds have some appeal for people who need new names."

While Bear, Stearns & Co. …

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