(Primerica, Citigroup and other stock prices brought current in this update.)
NEW YORK (
was the top performer of the financial sector Thursday in its trading debut following the insurance unit's spinoff from
surged after Citigroup priced the initial public offering of 21.36 million shares at $15 per share, above the proposed $12 to $14 range. Citigroup raised $320 million on the offering, which is made more impressive when factoring in the increased offering size, which Citigroup upped from 18 million shares.
Primerica is being spun off from Citigroup, having been acquired in the late 1980's by Sandy Weill.
of the insurance unit in November as part of the bank's ongoing overhaul to raise cash.
Primerica shares were lately trading 34% higher at $20.10, well above the $15 pricing. Citigroup shares, meanwhile, were up 2.5% to $4.15.
was another U.S. bank stock on the rise after CEO Jamie Dimon wrote in a letter to shareholders that the bank could increase its annual dividend to a range of 75 cents to $1 per share if economic conditions improve and potential regulatory reform is settled.
Dimon also wrote that the bank plans to expand the bank's investment and private banking divisions by adding 500 bankers, investors and other staff to its private bank this year. JPMorgan was lately up 1.1% to $45.20.
Also among the U.S. bank stock winners,
Bank of America
gained 1% to $18.02,
tacked on 0.4% to $31.25, and
inched 0.1% higher to $170.79
rose nearly 4% after a report in
The Wall Street Journal
that the bank's U.S. brokerage unit is laying off nearly 200 employees, or 1.2% of its work force, including about 25 managing directors.
The job cuts come as UBS's new wealth-management chief in the U.S., Robert McCann, reorganizes to compete against larger rivals such as Bank of America,
and Wells Fargo, the
says, citing people familiar with the matter.
UBS shares trading in New York were lately up 35 cents, or 2.2%, to $16.63.
In other overseas bank news,
is in talks with hedge-fund giant
York Capital Management
to take a minority stake in the investment firm, according to a report in
The Wall Street Journal
The talks could still collapse midway, people familiar with the matter told the newspaper. But the developments suggest that at least some Wall Street players expect Washington rule makers will allow big financial firms to continue owning stake in hedge funds.
Credit Suisse shares were advancing 1.1% to $51.92.
Among analyst moves, Keefe Bruyette & Woods upped 2010 and 2011 earnings estimates for several asset managers, including
, among several others.
The firm also upgraded Legg Mason and Janus Capital to outperform from market perform. Legg Mason added 5.8% to $30.33, and Janus shares increased 2.7% to $14.68.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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