Magazine article American Banker

Credit Suisse Spotlight Boosts First Chicago, Chase, and Citi

Magazine article American Banker

Credit Suisse Spotlight Boosts First Chicago, Chase, and Citi

Article excerpt

Shares of Chase Manhattan Corp., Citicorp, and First Chicago NBD Corp. gained Monday after being named to the "Focus List" of Credit Suisse First Boston.

In adding the banks to the firm's list of most promising investments, analysts Michael Mayo and Bradley Ball lifted their price targets for the banks by 10% and singled out Citicorp for an upgrade to "strong buy." Chase rose $3.8125, to $120.75; Citicorp gained $2, to $128; and First Chicago was up 81.25 cents, $77.4375.

The Credit Suisse analysts said the banks are taking necessary steps to increase value by streamlining management, reducing costs, and making the most of their branches and technology.

Citicorp is convincingly handling its exposure to Asia and also "has a solid footing to become the only truly global retail bank," the analysts said. For instance, in Asia, Citicorp is moving forward with services like branchless banking, credit cards, and target marketing to the region's growing middle class.

The upbeat prognosis came on a day when merger news, including Regions Financial Corp.'s deal for First Commercial Corp., helped bank stocks shake off a downdraft in the markets. Regions' Financial closed at $39.125, down $1.375, and First Commercial fell $2.0625, to $64.8125, on word of the $2.7 billion stock deal.

The Standard & Poor's bank index rose 0.60%, and the Dow Jones industrial average lost 0.11%.

The Nasdaq bank index was up 0.32%, and the S&P 500 lost 0.17%.

First Merchants Corp. rose 37. …

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