2 U.S. Commercial Banks Longshots in Barings Sales
Kaplan, Daniel, American Banker
U.S. commercial banks are unlikely to buy the assets of the failed British investment bank, Barings PLC, banking analysts said.
Bankers Trust New York Corp. and J.P. Morgan & Co. have been mentioned as possible buyers of Barings' assets, which are being shopped to financial firms by Ernst & Young, the court-appointed administrator in a bankruptcy process similar to Chapter 11.
Barings, which operated a brokerage, an asset management firm, and a corporate finance business, failed over the weekend after a single company trader in Singapore caused more than $1 billion of losses.
Analysts said that foreign banks are more likely than Morgan or Bankers Trust to snap up the businesses. They identified National Westminster Bank PLC as the leading candidate, followed by ABN Amro Holding, Morgan Stanley & Co., Merrill Lynch Co., Union Bank of Switzerland, and HSBC Holdings.
Barings' businesses might fit well with the strategies of J.P. Morgan and Bankers Trust, but the two U.S. banks do not have acquisitive cultures, said Rafael Soifer, an analyst with Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. …