This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Greek Crisis May Put California Bank in Play

Stocks in this article: BNP.PA ING HBC BBT USB RY

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- BNP Paribas (BNP) may be forced to sell Bank of the West, California's fifth largest bank, as the European debt crisis continues to create problems for the French banking giant.

Moody's Investors Service put BNP, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale on review for downgrade this week citing their large exposure to Greek debt as the country struggles to avoid defaulting on its debt.

Greek woes has worsened this week as Standard & Poor's cut the country's debt rating to triple-C--its worst rating for any country in the world.

BNP spokeswoman Isabelle Wolff wrote via email that the bank has no comment regarding Bank of the West, though she argues the bank's exposure to Greece is "negligible," at EUR5 billion in government bonds and exposure to Greek banks is also "negligible." In all, exposure to the country represents just 0.6% of BNP Paribas' total commitments, according to Wolff.'

One former investment banker who spent some 20 years advising on U.S. bank M&A argues U.S. Bancorp (USB - Get Report) would be a logical buyer for Bank of the West, which has some $58 billion in assets . A U.S. Bancorp spokesman declined to comment.

U.S. bank M&A has been slow this year, and just three big assets are reported to be in play. All of these involve non-U.S. banks exiting U.S. businesses. The assets for sale include HSBC (HBC)'s credit card business and ING Groep (ING - Get Report)'s U.S. online bank, both of which are being pursued by Capital One (COF). The other big asset is Royal Bank of Canada (RY - Get Report) U.S. operations, for which BB&T (BBT - Get Report) is thought to be the most likely bidder. RBC's U.S. bank, based in Raleigh, N.C., is less than half the size of Bank of the West, with just over $27 billion in assets.

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

Jim Cramer's protégé, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!

Markets

DOW 17,678.70 +6.10 0.03%
S&P 500 2,057.09 +5.27 0.26%
NASDAQ 4,771.7630 +13.8840 0.29%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs