Long-Term Boosts Seen for Banks

By Boraks, David | American Banker, September 14, 2003 | Go to article overview

Long-Term Boosts Seen for Banks


Boraks, David, American Banker


Uncertainty and fears of an economic slowdown following Tuesday's terrorist attacks in New York could send banking stocks lower when the U.S. equity markets reopen Monday, but analysts believe the disaster actually could provide a boost for the sector.

U.S. markets did not open on Tuesday because of the attacks and they have remained closed since the World Trade Center and other buildings in New York's financial district were obliterated. In addition, many of the nation's most important financial services firms are headquartered or have offices in the area, and have been unable to conduct business as usual.

Bond trading resumed Thursday, but federal regulators and market officials decided Thursday to reopen the equity markets Monday.

Equity investors reacting to Tuesday's attacks for the first time are expected to be in a selling mood, and bank stocks are unlikely to be spared, analysts at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey said in a research note late Wednesday.

Although other world stock markets fell 5% or more on Tuesday, those that were open on Wednesday mostly recovered. "In our view, there is no financial crisis at hand," said analysts Christopher Marinac, Jefferson Harralson, and Jennifer Demba at SunTrust Robinson Humphrey.

But the trio said bank shares could suffer because of uncertainty about the health of the financial system, economic worries, and "ensuing issues with credit quality deterioration, business contraction, and slower revenue/EPS growth. …

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