- Global Assault on Banks Intensifies
by Nicholas Comfort, http://www.bloomberg.com/, 12 Feb 2016
* Credit Suisse touched 27-year low as Thiam’s plan questioned
* Cost of insuring European financials against default spikes
Credit Suisse Group AG shares plunged to the lowest in a generation on Thursday and a one-year contract to insure Deutsche Bank AG debt against default surged to a record as a global rout in financial companies intensified.
Theories abound as to what lies behind the months-long selloff, with some traders fretting over falling oil prices, China’s economy and negative interest rates. A pullback by some sovereign-wealth funds has also been blamed for lower asset prices. Whatever the cause, the hammering has been the worst in Europe, where concerns persist about the health of some of the biggest banks eight years after the financial crisis.
“The market is aggressively penalizing banks,” said Nikhil Srinivasan, who oversees 480 billion euros ($543 billion) as chief investment officer at Assicurazioni Generali SpA in Milan. “It’s going to be a challenging 2016, and I don’t see a short tunnel — this could go on for a while.”
Investors have fled lenders that show signs of weakness, as Societe Generale SA did Thursday when the Paris-based bank said it might miss its profitability goal this year. The stock plunged 13 percent that day, the most since 2011. Both Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank published dismal fourth-quarter results in recent weeks that have sent shareholders and bondholders to the exits.