M&T may benefit from Obama curbs
Published 23/01/2010 | 05:00
AIB could generate €920m from the sale of its 24pc stake in US lender M&T Bank, with the shares in the American bank up 14.4pc this year.
NCB said M&T could be one of the few winners out of US President Barack Obama's banking reforms.
"Enforced regulatory moves to limit the size of banks may leave M&T in a stronger position than its larger peers, making a disposal for AIB an easier prospect,'' said the stockbroker.
The shares were at $76.37 yesterday, although the stock dropped 2.8pc when the market opened.
However, they rose when the initial Obama announcement was made on Thursday.
Unlike Irish banks, M&T is benefiting from lower credit costs and higher net-interest margins. Its second largest shareholder is Warren Buffett, who has been mentioned as a potential suitor for the AIB stake.
However, interest from well-capitalised Canadian banks is the most likely at this point. A number of banks have expressed an interest in taking over the stake, the head of the US regional lender said late last year. Speaking to influential US financial magazine 'Barron's', M&T's chairman and chief executive Robert Wilmers admitted to being hounded by bankers about AIB's holding. However, Mr Wilmers said he had seen "no sign of any intention to sell".