NEW YORK (
American International Group
was among the winners of the financial sector Wednesday after the insurer's CEO said he plans to stay at the company for two more years.
rose nearly 1% after CEO Robert Benmosche said he expects to remain with the bailed-out insurer for another year or two and will help prepare AIG for his departure. Benmosche made the remarks in a telephone interview with
Benmosche will "be around for a year or two more, and then after that the question would be working with the board on how best to deal with succession," he told
. "We are doing that now, as well as in the future."
AIG shares were lately up 24 cents, or 0.7%, to $36.15.
was another top performer Wednesday after Goldman Sachs analyst Brian Foran upgraded the bank to buy from neutral and upped his price target to $10 from $7. Foran cited CD re-pricing, noting that KeyCorp has the biggest and most expensive CD book with about 2/3 of it re-pricing this year.
KeyCorp shares were jumping by 3.9% to $8.80.
Meanwhile, Goldman's Foran cited liquidity tailwinds for several estimate changes. Foran upped his 2010 and 2011 earnings targets for
Hudson City Bancorp
Foran also raised stock price targets for
Fifth Third Bancorp
, among other select banks.
Among other analyst moves, Rochdale Securities analyst Dick Bove initiated coverage of
with a neutral rating and $18 price target. Bove says that UBS "is a great company with an excellent franchise that got itself into a surprising amount of trouble."
UBS was lately down 1.3% to $26.74.
defended its business model and its actions ahead of the 2008 financial crisis in a letter to shareholders published Wednesday.
While the letter argues Goldman's "direct exposure to AIG was minimal," it acknowledges that "Goldman Sachs and every other financial institution and company benefitted from the continued viability of AIG." Addressing criticisms that Goldman bet against mortgage products it was selling, the letter states that Goldman was merely offsetting exposures and were not a "bet against our clients."
Goldman Sachs was rising 2.1% to $176.46.
Among other U.S. bank stocks,
gained 2% to $29.94,
Bank of America
advanced 1% to $18.68, and
rose 0.8% to $4.32.
On the downside,
slid 0.7% to $45.54 and
lost 0.5% to $32.11
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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