is about deposit bases and is "a natural fit," Jim Cramer said on TheStreet.com TV's Wall Street Confidential
Web video Tuesday.
Canadian banks have both a strong monetary currency and a strong stock currency, but they need deposits, Cramer said. Meanwhile, the U.S. is "riddled with deposits by companies that can't grow their business."
Cramer pointed out how in the past Canadian banks stayed away from America. "I think they stayed away because they've regarded America as overvalued and they've regarded their loonie as undervalued," he said. "That's no longer the case."
Now, Cramer believes the Canadian banks are in a position to do exactly the opposite of what the U.S. banks have done, he said.
Using the example of TD Financial vs.
, which he owns for his charitable trust,
Action Alerts PLUS, Cramer said that Citigroup today closed on an acquisition of a bank in Tokyo.
"There's no growth in the Tokyo market and no deposit-base growth in the Tokyo market," he said. "It is probably the worst market in the world. It's more mature than the U.S., which is hard to find and is led by a cast of people that don't favor great growth. That's what Citigroup does."
On the other hand, the Canadian companies are recognizing they can "outflank" the U.S. companies here and buy the cheaper franchises, Cramer said. "Even Jamie Dimon (
CEO), who used to do these acquisitions, doesn't do them anymore," he said. "So I think it's just a great opportunity for the Canadians."
Commerce Bank is going out at three times its book value, "which is historically the high," Cramer continued. "It's because the bank is valued a little bit more richly given the fact that it had a retail orientation. I believe that at three times, it does establish a new benchmark, if you can find banks that are equally as customer friendly."
Further, Cramer said it's now very clear to him that "if you're a Canadian bank, you have to 'infill' the market." Commerce Bank, while a good bank and a big one, isn't enough, he said. It now has to consider taking over
New York Community Bancorp
, which is Greenpoint Savings and North Fork.
"Then you really would own the New York area, which is, by the way, the only area in the country where real estate is going higher," Cramer said.
At the time of publication, Cramer was long Citigroup.
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