: First Republic sinks bank stocks as investors shrug off $30 billion infusion

First Republic Bank continued its slide — despite an unprecedented $30 billion deposit from 11 U.S. banks Thursday — after the bank suspended its dividend and disclosed higher borrowing costs eating into its valuation.

The news weighed on the banking sector as optimism around the move by the big banks quickly faded, with analysts at Wedbush slashing their price target on First Republic to $5, a fraction of where the bank is trading now.

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

CEO Jamie Dimon, U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen came up with the joint bank deposit during a phone call on Tuesday, a source familiar with the situation confirmed to MarketWatch.

The genesis of the deal had been reported by the Wall Street Journal and other publications. The move was described as an “extraordinary effort to stave off financial contagion,” as the New York Times reported.

JPMorgan analysts said the move by banks to help a smaller rival was a positive. “[H]owever, news late last night of post market drop in First Republic’s stock price is likely to rattle investors as markets remain fragile,” they wrote early Friday.

JPMorgan Chase

was down 0.7%, Citigroup

was down 1%, Bank of America

was down 1.2% and Wells Fargo

fell 0.8%. Goldman Sachs

and Morgan Stanley
which each provided $2.5 billion to the package, were down 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively.

Bank of New York Mellon

and State Street

were down 0.2%, Truist

was down 1.5% and and US Bancorp

was down 1.4%. Those four are providing $1 billion each. PNC Financial Services

was down 0.9%.

First Republic’s stock fell 13% in premarket trades after it reported $34 billion in cash as of Wednesday, not including the additional $30 billion of uninsured deposits from the 11 banks.

The bank also revealed the amount of interest it’s been paying on loans to cover deposit withdrawals in recent days as fears of contagion rocked bank stocks after the demise of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and Silvergate Bank in the past week. First Republic was often perceived as the next domino to fall because it served many wealthy clients from the venture-capital and banking circles around Silicon Valley.

First Republic said after the closing bell on Thursday that it borrowed between $20 billion and $109 billion from the Federal Reserve at an overnight rate of 4.75% between March 10 and March 15. It also increased short-term borrowing from the Federal Home Loan Bank by $10 billion at a rate of 5.09%.

Wedbush on Friday downgraded First Republic Bank’s stock to neutral from outperform and slashed its price target on the stock to $5 a share, a fraction of its current level of around $29 a share in premarket trades.

While the $30 billion infusion by 11 banks is a plus, the bank has also increased liabilities in order to shore up its liquidity, analysts said.

This will in turn “increase interest expense materially, and puts the bank in a very tough position from a profitability standpoint,” Wedbush analysts said.

A sale of the bank amounts to the best option to avoid bankruptcy, they said.

“A sale of [First Republic] to larger entity should be beneficial for the banking system as a whole, and should help ease contagion fears,” the analysts said. “However, given the fair value marks embedded in both its loan and securities portfolios, we find it difficult to come up with a realistic scenario where there’s residual value for [First Republic] common equity holders.”

This post was originally published on MarketWatch

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