Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Financial Firms Hunt for cash

As Citigroup Inc. was dealing with billions of dollars in subprime bad credit mortgage-related losses and the departure of Chief Executive Charles Prince, it got an unexpected call from a prominent investment banker suggesting a merger with Bank of America Corp.
Citigroup's board dismissed the informal approach "totally out of hand," and no discussions have taken place, says a person familiar with the matter. "When you're looking for a CEO, that's no time for a transaction," this person says.
Bank of America says it never authorized a formal overture to Citigroup.

Citigroup's board, meanwhile, gave a green light to a smaller transaction -- a $7.5 billion capital infusion from an investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government. In exchange, the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority will receive a 4.9% stake in the form of convertible stock.
More broadly, the Abu Dhabi deal shows that after years of doling out money to corporate clients and consumers, financial companies now need some fresh cash of their own.
Faced with massive losses linked to the subprime-mortgage crisis and accompanying credit crunch, several of the nation's financial institutions -- from Wall Street investment firms to bond insurers -- are assessing their need for new sources of capital. And they are likely to intensify their fledgling efforts in coming months amid signs that they could face billions of dollars in additional losses as the mortgage-market fallout persists.

"It's a bitter pill to swallow to admit that the problems in the market have reached the point that companies that traditionally could fund themselves now need external sources of capital," says David Honold, who invests in financial stocks at Turner Investment Partners in Berwyn, Pa.

Of course, one way to tap external capital is to merge operations. The merger boom that fizzled out this summer was driven by cheap and plentiful financing in the debt markets and a booming stock market. With credit increasingly tight and the stock market looking shakier, Wall Street may now see a round of opportunistic deal making.

Bank of America, based in Charlotte, N.C., has long been one of the most opportunistic acquirers in the banking industry. In the past couple of years, it has scooped up retail bank FleetBoston Financial Corp., credit-card issuer MBNA Corp., wealth-management firm U.S. Trust Co. and, most recently, LaSalle Bank.

This wasn't the first time Citigroup received an overture involving Bank of America; it got a feeler from the bank several months ago, according to a person familiar with the matter. The latest one, though, was quickly disavowed. "Bank of America did not authorize any investment banker to approach any company over the last six weeks," a Bank of America spokesman said.

Friday, November 16, 2007

What is a Bad Credit Mortgage Loan?

Five Stars Mortgage has posted an article explaining the mysteries of the bad credit mortgage loan.

Below is an exceprt from the article:

"Bad credit mortgage is no different from an ordinary mortgage except for the fact that it's given to people having a bad credit history. A bad credit mortgage serves as a boon for people having a bad credit history that could have happened due to non payment of debts in time, bankruptcy, black mark from any credit agency, court cases, or even in accurate information or credit fraud. Bad credit mortgage is also referred to as adverse credit mortgage, sub prime mortgage, non standard mortgage, poor credit mortgage or credit impaired mortgage. These are the same as bad credit mortgage refinace, bad credit mortgage home loans, and foreclosure refinance situations. Lenders generally shy away from people having a bad credit. But the situation has changed rapidly and many home mortgage lenders and bad credit mortgage company have sprung up that offer bad credit home mortgages to people having a bad credit history, with almost the same interest rates (just a marginal difference) and terms as in a normal mortgage loan. "

To read the entire article on bad credit mortgage loans in Florida visit:

Friday, November 9, 2007

The nation's fourth-largest bank, which lost $1.3 billion in the third quarter tied to market turmoil, reported a $1.1 billion drop in the value of its asset-backed debt just in October alone.
Bankers' write-downs

The Charlotte, N.C.-based company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it's anticipating loan losses of $500 million to $600 million in the fourth quarter, citing anticipated loan growth and the impact of continuing credit deterioration in its loan portfolio.

"The expected credit deterioration will likely be focused in certain geographic areas that have recently experienced dramatic declines in housing values," the company's filing says.
At last check, shares of Wachovia dropped 1% on trading volume of more than 17 million shares.
Due to the October market deterioration, Wachovia's asset-backed collateralized debt obligations, or CDOs, experienced further declines in value in October 2007 by an amount it currently estimates to be approximately $1.1 billion pre-tax, the filing said.

In the third quarter, market losses totaling $1.3 billion pre-tax included $347 million of subprime-related valuation losses on CDOs.
As of Oct. 31, Wachovia said it had remaining exposure of $676 million to asset-backed CDOs, compared with $1.8 billion the previous month. Wachovia has exposure to subprime residential mortgage-backed securities of $2.1 billion, according to the filing.
Write-downs related to CDOs and subprime mortgage-backed securities totaled $1.11 a share during October, Wachovia said. Net write-downs for the third quarter were 35 cents a share.
The market for these assets "have remained extraordinarily volatile in the first week of November with additional rating agencies' downgrades ... and credit spread widening and illiquidity."

More write-downs coming out of Wall Street have heightened fears the fallout from the subprime turmoil is spreading deeper into credit markets. American International Group Inc. (AIG:
American International Group, Inc earlier this week joined the chorus of firms disclosing subprime-related losses.
"While it is unclear if these write-downs are enough, the remaining CDO exposure of $676 million is well below that of others," wrote analysts at Deutsche Bank in a research note on the Wachovia filing. They estimated that Morgan Stanley has $6 billion in CDO exposure, Merrill Lynch & Co. has $42 billion.

The analysts said the extra loan-loss provisions of between $500 million and $600 million are related to Wachovia's acquisition of mortgage company Golden West Financial. "As such, we believe the company is trying to get ahead of likely higher future mortgage losses in California," they wrote. Last year, Wachovia bought Golden West for $26 billion.

"Nevertheless, we consider this to be negative news," Deutsche Bank said. "Per the investment bank, management indicated that it would stay the course but we wonder if additional changes could be needed. Second, per Golden West, it now becomes even more obvious that Wachovia purchased the thrift at the wrong time of the cycle."

"Perhaps more important than the valuation write-downs is the need to build the loan loss reserves for credit quality deterioration," wrote Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analysts in a report Friday. "The need for additional valuation write-downs was becoming evident in recent weeks, so the Street knew it was coming. But the credit losses may not have been as expected."

The analysts lowered their fourth-quarter profit estimate for Wachovia to 55 cents a share from $1.10.

"Everyone keeps hoping that the worst is over, but we expect to see continued negative news as the fallout from the subprime lending spree spreads," said Walter O'Haire, senior analyst at financial research and consulting firm Celent.

"The hangover is not only painful, but there is no near end in sight," he said. "To complicate matters, there is still disagreement on how to best arrive at a 'market value' for various complex debt derivatives [and] securities, since almost no one wants to own the paper and there is little to no market for it today."

Stated income loan in Florida

Friday, November 2, 2007

Merrill hedge-fund arrangement in question

After hitting five-year lows a day earlier, financial stocks continued to slide on Friday as investor concerns focused on Merrill Lynch and Washington Mutual. In the past few days, concerns seemed to shift from the companies' poor judgment and weak risk management to the possibility that business practices may not pass regulators' tests.

Shares of Merrill Lynch & Co. fell more than 7% Friday, retreating in the face of a Wall Street Journal report that the company has engaged in deals with hedge funds to delay when it had to record losses on risky mortgage-backed securities.

Washington Mutual may have to set aside some $412 million to $2.1 billion in extra reserves if a lawsuit filed by New York state's attorney general against the mortgage lender succeeds, a Keefe Bruyette & Woods analyst estimated on Friday.

U.S. stocks on Friday shifted in and out of positive territory as investors weighted a surprisingly strong October jobs report and an unexpected rise in factory orders against ongoing credit-related upheaval in financial stocks.

Deutsche's Mayo estimates $10 bln in fourth-quarter write-downs
Deutsche Bank analyst Mike Mayo estimates there will be more than $10 billion in new write-downs during the fourth quarter, including $4 billion each at Citigroup bln subprime hit, Goldman estimates

UBS may take a subprime-related hit of $5.2 billion in the fourth quarter, according to Richard Ramsden, an analyst at Goldman Sachs. He calculated the estimated write-down based on the performance of credit-default spreads since the end of September.

Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd says Merrill Lynch & Co.'s $161.5 million exit package for former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stan O'Neal may revive efforts in Congress to give shareholders more power to curb CEO salaries.

Meredith Whitney, whose downgrade of Citigroup Inc. shares helped wipe out $369 billion in U.S. stock market value, said she was the only analyst on Wall Street with the guts to say the bank may cut its dividend.

Commercial Mortgage Lender Five Stars Mortgage continues offering cutting edge products to the National Mortgage Markets. Hard Money Commercial Loans are also being offered by the Commercial Loan Provider.

Shares in Barclays fell as much as 8% to hit two-and-a-half year lows on Friday amid market talk of funding worries and speculation it is telling analysts to trim profit forecasts.

Men like Jim Chanos and Bill Ackman will be watching the collapsing share prices of companies such as Ambac and MBIA with a sense of triumph -- and the warm glow that comes from turning a fine profit. Both hedge-fund managers have long held short positions on the equities of one or other of these bond insurers -- known as monolines -- and have not been shy about condemning their business models or risk positions.