Corporate Financier’s Notes by Aivars Jurcans
Done! And Done
Sampo, a Finnish insurance group, has sold 4% of its shares in Nordea, a Nordic banking group, for EUR 1.73 billion, reducing its stake from 10.1% to 6.1%.
HSBC has announced a USD 2 billion share buyback. The bank is in the middle of a big overhaul of its global operations and plans to trim USD 4,5 billion in costs, cut 35,000 jobs and shift USD 100 billion in risk-weighted assets to Asia.
UBS, a Swiss bank, has agreed to sell its wealth management business in Spain to Singular Bank, a Madrid-based lender, for an undisclosed amount. The wealth business in Spain has assets of around EUR 14 billion and 218 employees.
Source: Bloomberg, Reuters
Bank of Ireland has agreed to buy “substantially all” of KBC’s, a Belgian financial group, Irish performing assets for EUR 5 billion.
Macquarie Asset Management has agreed to acquire Central Park Group, an investment advisory firm. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 2006, Central Park Group has USD 3.5 billion in assets under management.
Deals On The Table
CaixaBank, a Spanish lender, is said to be considering selling part or all of its stake in Erste Group Bank, a Vienna-based lender. Caixa’s 9.8% stake is valued at about EUR 1.65 billion.
Thanks, But No Deal
The Italian government and UniCredit have called off negotiations for the acquisition of Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, a troubled lender.
Banco Sabadell, the owner of TSB (a UK bank), has rejected the unsolicited merger offer from Co-operative Bank, a rival lender. The Co-op’s offer is said to have amounted to more than GBP 1 billion.
J.Sainsbury, a UK supermarket chain, is said to have stopped pursuing a sale of Sainsbury’s Bank, its banking unit. Sainsbury’s Bank provides services to more than 2 million customers. Its cost-to-income ratio is 71%.
Metrics To Watch
Deutsche Bank’s cost-to-income ratio at the end of Q3 2021 stood 1.6 percentage points higher than a year ago at 88.9%. The bank’s target was to bring it down to 70% by the end of 2022.
Barclays, a UK lender, is valued at 6x times forward earnings and its shares are being traded at 40% below tangible book value.
UBS, a Swiss bank, has started a digital wealth manager in the US which will service affluent customers with between USD 250,000 and USD 2 million in assets.
Taavet Hinrikus, a co-founder of Wise, has sold about 10 million Class A shares in the company at 815 pence each, a 4% discount to the closing price in the previous session. Hinrikus is said to be holding on to his 54 million Class B shares.
Nubank, a Brazilian fintech, is said to be planning an initial public offering that could value it at more than USD 50 billion.
With global [M&A] transaction values now at more than USD 4.11 trillion, the old annual high that’s stood since 2007 has been beaten, according to Bloomberg.
Global investment in insurance technology (insurtech) startups totalled USD 10.5 billion in the first 9 months of 2021, according to Willis Re, a reinsurance broker.
A Thought Worth Noting
“As things normalise, inflation is becoming more persistent, so it will be harder for the European Central Bank to justify continued stimulus.”
Lucrezia Reichlin, economics professor, London Business School
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