(March 21): First Republic Bank’s shares tumbled 47% to an all-time low after S&P Global lowered its credit rating for the second time in a week and as executives from major banks discussed fresh efforts to stabilise the lender.
JPMorgan Chase & Co chief executive officer Jamie Dimon was leading the plan to have banks convert some or all of the US$30 billion they deposited last week with First Republic into a capital infusion, according to people familiar with the matter.
The prospective rescue, however, appeared to do little to reassure investors as its share price continued to tumble Monday to finish at US$12.18. Options traders bought up more than 68,000 contracts of US$5 puts that expire Friday, which would profit from a deeper slump this week. The stock has already lost 90% this year.
First Republic’s bonds also slumped along with shares. The bank’s 4.375% bond due 2046 slumped 3.5 cents on the dollar to trade at 58.5 cents on Monday afternoon in New York.
Earlier, S&P said First Republic’s US$30 billion deposit from some of Wall Street’s biggest lenders may not solve the “substantial” challenges the bank is now likely facing, even if it does ease near-term pressure on liquidity.
First Republic bucked a broader rally in regional banks that was led by New York Community Bancorp’s record 32% gain. NYCB surged after being upgraded by at least two analysts, following its agreement to take over Signature Bank’s deposits and some of its loans.