First Republic Bank's financial woes deepen despite cash infusion

by IANS |

New York, March 18 (IANS) First Republic Bank's financial woes appeared to be deepening despite an industry-led emergency cash infusion, CNN reported.

The beleaguered bank is trying to raise money through a private issue of new shares, according to the New York Times, which cited people familiar with the situation.

The news comes just 24 hours after First Republic secured a cash infusion of $30 billion from a consortium of banks, CNN reported.

A full sale of the bank remains on the table, according to one of the people who spoke to the New York Times.

Stocks fell Friday, ending the day lower as tumult in the banking sector continued to unnerve Wall Street, CNN reported.

The Dow ended the week down 1.2 per cent. The S&P 500 ended the week up 1.4 per cent. The Nasdaq Composite rose 4.4 per cent.

Shares of First Republic continued their plunge and were down about 33 per cent, even after a group of large banks intervened to offer the troubled bank $30 billion in deposits, CNN reported.

Credit Suisse stock slipped about 8 per cent as Wall Street remained concerned about the bank's ability to recover from this week's turmoil.

Investors are hoping next week's Federal Reserve meeting will shed more light on the trajectory of the economy following a troublesome week. Traders see a roughly 63 per cent probability for a quarter-point hike, according to the CME FedWatch Tool.

Swiss banking giant UBS is in discussions to take over all or part of Credit Suisse, after a day in which the troubled banking giant continued to see its share price fall despite a $ 54 billion cash injection, The Guardian reported.

The Financial Times reported that the boards of the two banks are set to meet separately over the weekend in talks initiated by the Swiss National Bank, which provided Credit Suisse a lifeline, and regulator Swiss Finma.

The expected talks come as a senior Credit Suisse executive said wealth management clients were leaving the bank. A merger between UBS, valued at $56bn, and Credit Suisse, valued at $7bn, was "plan A" to arrest a collapse in confidence, the FT said, citing unnamed sources.

UBS was also reported to be analyzing the potential risks to its own business in taking on its Swiss counterpart, The Guardian reported.

Credit Suisse has said that it is a strong, global bank. "We fulfill and basically overshoot all regulatory requirements. Our capital, our liquidity basis is very strong," chief executive Ulrich Koerner said earlier this week.

Credit Suisse is the largest bank so far to be caught up in a growing banking crisis. On Friday Silicon Valley Bank's parent company filed for bankruptcy after worried depositors pulled billions from their accounts. And on Thursday Wall Street's biggest banks launched a rescue package for San Francisco-based First Republic, which had been hit by a similar wave of withdrawals.

That deal initially calmed nervous US investors but on Friday bank stocks slid again as fears grew that the crisis is escalating, The Guardian reported.

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