Best Bank Companies To Buy Right Now

Is another Chipotle (NYSE: CMG  ) bubble forming?

It’s starting to look like it, after the 12% surge following its latest earnings report. In 2012, we saw Chipotle peak at a price over $440, before tumbling down to $240 in October after two poorly reviewed earnings reports. Since then the share price has steadily climbed back before jumping to a closing price of $366.25.

But considering the reports that sent Wall Street fleeing last year, the first-quarter earnings results leave much to be desired. The table below shows a comparison.

Quarter

Revenue Growth (adjusted)

Comparable Sales (adjusted)

Earnings per Share

Operating Income Growth

Q2 2012

20.9%

8%

Best Bank Companies To Buy Right Now: Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)

Commonwealth Bank of Australia (the Bank) is engaged in the provision of a range of banking and financial products and services to retail, small business, corporate and institutional clients. The Bank is a provider of integrated financial services, including retail, business and institutional banking, superannuation, life insurance, general insurance, funds management, broking services and finance company activities. Its operating segments include Retail Banking Services, Business and Private Banking, Institutional Banking and Markets, Wealth Management, New Zealand, Bankwest and Other. Its retail banking services include home loans, consumer finance, retail deposits and distribution. Its business and private banking include corporate financial services, regional and agribusiness banking, local business banking, private bank and equities and margin lending. The Bank and its subsidiaries ceased to be a substantial holder in Ten Network Holdings Limited, as of September 12, 201 2. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jan Schalkwijk]

    M-Pesa, the system that revolutionized mobile payments in Kenya and beyond, is not capital intensive for Safaricom, but the company has to pay 10% of revenues to Vodafone, which runs the system’s technology backbone. Safaricom is planning to take this job on itself going forward, which should increase profitability, though there would be some operational risk if they can’t deliver the same level of service. M-Pesa has now spawned M-Shwari, which is the same concept but adds mobile banking services such as the provision of credit. This new service is delivered in partnership with the unlisted Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA).

  • [By Yoshiaki Nohara]

    Panasonic Corp., Japan’s largest consumer electronics maker, climbed 6.8 percent after posting profit that beat estimates. STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. (067250) jumped 15 percent in Seoul after agreeing to restructure it debt. Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the nation’s biggest lender, fell 1.5 percent, pacing losses among the nation’s financial shares on a report the government will impose a new tax on banks.

  • [By Toshiro Hasegawa]

    Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) fell 1.1 percent to A$73.73. Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (ST) retreated 1.1 percent to S$3.78 today after posting earnings.

Best Bank Companies To Buy Right Now: Umpqua Holdings Corp (UMPQ)

Umpqua Holdings Corporation (Umpqua) is a financial holding company. Umpqua has two principal operating subsidiaries, Umpqua Bank (the Bank) and Umpqua Investments, Inc. (Umpqua Investments). The Bank is primarily engaged in the business of commercial and retail banking and the delivery of retail brokerage services. The Bank provides a range of banking, wealth management, mortgage banking and other financial services to corporate, institutional and individual customers. Umpqua Investments is a broker-dealer and investment advisor with offices in Portland, Lake Oswego, Medford, Oregon, and in many Umpqua Bank stores. Umpqua Investments offers a range of investment products and services, including stocks, fixed income securities (municipal, corporate, and government bonds, Certificate of Deposits (CDs), and money market instruments), mutual funds, annuities, options, retirement planning, money management services and life insurance. In December 2011, the Bank launched a comm ercial real estate division. In November 2012, the Company acquired Circle Bancorp, parent company of Circle Bank. In July 2013, Umpqua Holdings Corp completed its acquisition of Financial Pacific Holding Corp.

The Company offers a Switch Kit, which allows a customer to open a primary checking account with Umpqua Bank in less than 10 minutes. Other avenues, through which customers can access its products, include its Website equipped with an e-switchkit, which includes Internet banking through umpqua.online, mobile banking, and its 24-hour telephone voice response system. Umpqua Private Bank serves high net worth individuals with liquid investable assets by providing customized financial solutions and offerings. Umpqua private bank works collaboratively with the Bank’s affiliate retail brokerage Umpqua Investments and with the independent capital management firm Ferguson Wellman Capital Management. Umpqua Investments provides a range of brokerage services, inc luding equity and fixed income products, mutual funds, annui! ties, options, retirement planning and money management services. Additionally, Umpqua Investments offers life insurance policies. At December 31, 2011, Umpqua Investments had 41Series seven-licensed financial advisors serving clients at three stand-alone retail brokerage offices and Investment Opportunity Centers located in many Bank stores.

Lending Activities

Umpqua offers loans for business and commercial customers, including accounts receivable and inventory financing, equipment loans, international trade, real estate construction loans and permanent financing and SBA program financing, as well as capital markets and treasury management. Additionally, it offers designed loan products for small businesses through its Small Business Lending Center. It also has a business banking division to increase lending to small and mid-sized businesses. The Company is also engaged in initiatives that continue to diversify the loan portfolio, including a focu s on commercial and industrial loans in addition to financing owner-occupied properties.

Real estate loans are available for construction, purchase and refinancing of residential owner-occupied and rental properties. Borrowers can choose from a variety of fixed and adjustable rate options and terms. It sells residential real estate loans that originate into the secondary market. It also supports the Home Affordable Refinance Program and Home Affordable Modification Program. The Bank also provide loans to individual borrowers for a variety of purposes, including secured and unsecured personal loans, home equity and personal lines of credit and motor vehicle loans. The Bank makes both secured and unsecured loans to individuals and businesses. During 2011, its commercial real estate, commercial, residential, and consumer and other represented approximately 64%, 25%, 10%, and 1%, respectively, of the total non-covered loan and lease portfolio.

Source of Funds

The Company offers an array of deposit p! roducts, ! including non-interest-bearing checking accounts, interest-bearing checking and savings accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit. These accounts earn interest at rates established by management based on market factors. It also offers a seniors program to customers over fifty years old, which includes an array of banking services and other amenities, such as purchase discounts, vacation trips and seminars.

Investment Activities

As of December 31, 2011, Umpqua’s portfolio of investments securities included securities issued by United States Treasury and agencies, and residential mortgage-backed securities and collateralized mortgage obligations. It also includes obligations of states and political subdivisions, other debt securities, and investments in mutual funds and other equity securities.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Roberto Pedone]

    Umpqua (UMPQ) is engaged in the business of commercial and retail banking and the delivery of retail brokerage services. This stock closed up 5% at $17.11 in Monday’s trading session.

    Monday’s Volume: 2.16 million

    Three-Month Average Volume: 686,781

    Volume % Change: 235%

    From a technical perspective, UMPQ ripped sharply higher here right off its 50-day moving average of $16.51 with strong upside volume. This move is quickly pushing shares of UMPQ within range of triggering a big breakout trade. That trade will hit if UMPQ manages to take out Monday’s intraday high of $17.46 and then once it clears its 52-week high at $17.48 with high volume.

    Traders should now look for long-biased trades in UMPQ as long as it’s trending above its 50-day at $16.51 or above more near-term support at $16 and then once it sustains a move or close above those breakout levels with volume that’s near or above 686,781 shares. If that breakout hits soon, then UMPQ will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory above, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $20 to $23.

Best Bank Companies To Buy Right Now: Wells Fargo & Company(WFC)

Wells Fargo & Company, through its subsidiaries, provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services primarily in the United States. The company operates in three segments: Community Banking; Wholesale Banking; and Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement. The Community Banking segment offers deposits, including checking, market rate, and individual retirement accounts; savings and time deposits; and debit cards. Its loan products comprise lines of credit, auto floor plans, equity lines and loans, equipment and transportation loans, education loans, residential mortgage loans, health savings accounts, and credit cards. This segment also provides equipment leases, real estate financing, small business administration financing, venture capital financing, cash management, payroll services, retirement plans, loans secured by autos, and merchant payment processing services; purchases sales finance contracts from retail merchants; and a family of funds, and investment managemen t services. The Wholesale Banking segment offers commercial and corporate banking products and services, including commercial loans and lines of credit, letters of credit, asset-based lending, equipment leasing, international trade facilities, trade financing, collection services, foreign exchange services, treasury and investment management, institutional fixed-income sales, commodity and equity risk management, insurance, corporate trust fiduciary and agency services, and investment banking services. This segment also provides banking products for commercial real estate market, and real estate and mortgage brokerage services. The Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement segment offers financial advisory, brokerage, and institutional retirement and trust services. As of December 31, 2010, the company served its customers through approximately 9,000 banking stores in 39 States and the District of Columbia. Wells Fargo & Company was founded in 1929 and is headquartered in San Franc i sco, California.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Strumpf var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); popups.forEach(fu]

    Financial stocks may be outperforming the broader market this year, but that’s not good enough for Wells Fargo(WFC), which is downgrading its rating on the sector.

  • [By Rich Smith]

    AFP/Getty Images/Frederic J. Brown Over the past decade or so, waves of computer-aided identity theft have washed over the U.S. Since the first big hack attack on ChoicePoint in 2005, through more recent data breaches at Evernote, LivingSocial, and now the massive Target (TGT) breach involving 110 million pieces of data (just the third-largest data breach in U.S. history, by the way), companies have more or less figured out a routine for dealing with data breaches. You notify the FBI. You (eventually) notify your customers. And you replace everybody’s credit cards. With the latest breach at Target, that process is already well under way. Megabanks like JP Morgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC), Wells Fargo (WFC), and Citigroup (C) have collectively handed out millions of new cards, with new card numbers, to customers whose data may have been compromised by the Target data breach. Last week, the Independent Community Bankers of America issued a release confirming its members — small banks around the country — have “reissued more than 4 million credit and debit cards.” To ensure that credit and debit card numbers that hacker stole from Target and Neiman Marcus will soon be useless, ICBA member bankers absorbed costs in excess of $40 million. And as a result of their quick action, says the group, “community banks’ initial fraud costs were relatively low, with less than 1 percent of community bank customers reporting fraud.” So, while the Target breach and the “110 million pieces of data lost” sounds bad, the damage probably won’t be as bad as you think. In fact, you can use this epic data fail to your advantage. You Have to Set up New Auto-Payments When your bank sends you a new credit or debit card, it will come with a new number to replace the one that Target lost. Your old number has been canceled. This means any automatic payment plans you’ve set up — your subscriptions and the card numbers that you have preselected for payments on Amazon (AMZN), P

Best Bank Companies To Buy Right Now: Capital Bank Financial Corp (CBF)

Capital Bank Financial Corp, formerly North American Financial Holdings, Inc., incorporated in 2009, is a bank holding Company. The Company focuses on creating a regional banking franchise in the southeastern region of the United States through organic growth and acquisitions of other banks. As of March 31, 2011, the Bank operated 82 branches in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina. On July 16, 2010, the Bank acquired approximately $1.2 billion of assets and assumed approximately $960.1 million of deposits of three banks from the federal deposit insurance corporation (FDIC): First National Bank of the South in Spartanburg, South Carolina, Metro Bank of Dade County in Miami, Florida and Turnberry Bank in Aventura, Florida. On September 30, 2010 and January 28, 2011, the Bank consummated controlling investments in TIB Financial and Capital Bank Corp., respectively. The Bank’s products and services included commercial bank business, consumer bank business, Mortgage Ba nking, and Private Banking, Trust and Investment Management. In October 2012, it acquired Southern Community Financial Corp.

Lending activities

As of March 31, 2011, the Bank’s loans included: Real estate mortgage loans, Commercial and agricultural loans and Home equity loans. Real estate mortgage loans include: Commercial, Residential, and Construction and vacant land. As of March 31, 2011, covered loans were $656.6 million, representing 22.3% of its loan portfolio. As of March 31, 2011, non-covered loans were $2.3 billion, representing 77.6% of its loan portfolio. As of March 31, 2011, loans related to real estate totaled $2.6 billion (or 87% of the Bank’s total loan portfolio). At March 31, 2011, commercial real estate loans in all regions totaled $1.8 billion.

Investment activities

Investment securities represent a major portion of the Bank’s assets. As of March 31, 2011, the Bank’s investment securities includ ed mortgage backed securities, United States government agen! cies, states and political subdivisions, corporate bonds, equity, collateralized debt obligations and foreign government. Of the securities in the portfolio, 94% were rated AAA, and 97% were rated A or higher.

Sources of Funds

As of March 31, 2011, the Bank’s deposits included Non-interest demand deposit accounts, Interest Bearing demand deposit accounts, Savings and Money Market. It also included Customer Time Deposits and Wholesale Time Deposits. At March 31, 2011, total deposits were $3.5 billion of which $3.4 billion (or 97%) were non-brokered deposits and $94.4 million (or 3%) were brokered deposits. At March 31, 2011, the Bank’s core deposits (which are all deposits other than time deposits) consisted of $463.2 million of non-interest checking, $430.7 million of negotiable order of withdrawal accounts, $157.5 million of savings accounts and $456.2 million of money market deposits.

The Bank competes with Bank of America, Wells Fargo, BB&T, First Citizens, Royal Bank of Canada, SunTrust, Regions, FNB United Corp., Toronto-Dominion, Synovus, First Financial, SCBT, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, EverBank, Fifth Third Bancorp, First Horizon, Pinnacle Financial, First South and U.S. Bancorp.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    The year ahead should be a great one for the smaller bank stocks. Larger regionals like Huntington Bancorp (HBAN) and Capital Ban Financial (CBF) have made it clear they intend to grow by acquisition in the years ahead. Banks like First Merit (FMER) and First Merchants (FRME) have done deals in the past year and are open to doing more to increase their market share and footprints. This should be the year the floodgates open and we see the first wave of merger activity in small banks.

Best Bank Companies To Buy Right Now: Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc (MTU)

Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFJ), incorporated on April 2, 2001, is a holding company for The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU), Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation (MUTB), Mitsubishi UFJ Securities Holdings Co., Ltd. (MUSHD), Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co., Ltd.( MUMSS), Mitsubishi UFJ NICOS Co., Ltd. (Mitsubishi UFJ NICOS) and other companies engaged in a range of financial businesses. Its services include commercial banking, trust banking, securities, credit cards, consumer finance, asset management, leasing and fields of financial services. In May 2010, the Company and Morgan Stanley formed two joint ventures in Japan by integrating our respective Japanese securities companies engaged in investment banking and securities businesses. The Company converted the wholesale and retail securities businesses conducted in Japan by the former MUS into one of the joint venture entities, which is named MUMSS. Morgan Stanley contributed the investment banking operations conducted in Japan by its formerly wholly owned subsidiary, Morgan Stanley Japan Securities Co., Ltd. (MSJS) into MUMSS and converted the sales and trading and capital markets businesses conducted in Japan by MSJS into a second joint venture entity called Morgan Stanley MUFG Securities, Co., Ltd.

Integrated Retail Banking Business Group

The Integrated Retail Banking Business Group covers all domestic retail businesses, including commercial banking, trust banking and securities businesses, and enables the Company to offer a range of banking products and services, including financial consulting services, to retail customers in Japan. This business group integrates the retail business of BTMU, MUTB and MUMSS, as well as retail product development, promotion and marketing in a single management structure. Many of its retail services are offered through its network of MUFG Plazas providing individual customers with access t o its financial product offerings of integrated commercial b! anking, trust banking and securities services.

The Company offers a range of bank deposit products, including a non-interest-bearing deposit account that is redeemable on demand and intended for payment and settlement functions, and is insured without a maximum amount limitation. It also offers a variety of asset management and asset administration services to individuals, including savings instruments, such as current accounts, ordinary deposits, time deposits, deposits at notice and other deposit facilities. MUFJ also offers trust products, such as loan trusts and money trusts, and other investment products, such as investment trusts, performance-based money trusts and foreign currency deposits.

The Company creates portfolios by combining savings instruments and investment products. It also provide a range of asset management and asset administration products, as well as customized trust products for high-net-worth individuals, as well as adviso ry services relating to the purchase and disposal of real estate and effective land utilization, and testamentary trusts. The Company provides a varied line up of investment trust products allowing its customers to choose products according to their investment needs through BTMU, MUTB and MUMSS, as well as kabu.com Securities, which specializes in online financial services. In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010, BTMU offered a total of five investment trusts. As of the end of March 2010, BTMU offered its clients a total of 73 investment trusts.

The Company offers securities, including publicly offered stocks, foreign and domestic investment trusts, Japanese government bonds, foreign bonds and various other products. The Company offers housing loans, card loans and other loans to individuals. With respect to housing loans, in addition to housing loans incorporating health insurance for seven major illnesses, BTMU began offering in June 2009 preferential intere st rates under its Environmentally Friendly Support program ! to custom! ers who purchase environment-conscious houses (like houses with solar electric systems), which meet specific criteria in response to increasing public interest in environmental issues. In September 2009, BTMU launched housing loans with home mortgage insurance, which BTMU jointly developed with the Japan Housing Finance Agency, a governmental agency under the Japanese government’s economic stimulus measures, under which the agency indemnifies BTMU for losses from housing loans.

The Company offers products and services through a range of channels, including branches, automated teller machines (ATMs) (including convenience store ATMs shared by multiple banks), Mitsubishi-Tokyo UFJ Direct (telephone, Internet and mobile phone banking), the Video Counter and postal mail. It offers integrated financial services combining its banking, trust banking and securities services at MUFG Plazas. These Plazas provide retail customers with integrated and flexible suite of ser vices at one-stop outlets. As of March 31 2010, the Company provided those services through 47 MUFG Plazas. The Company offers MUTB’s trust related products and advisory services through its trust agency system not only for MUTB customers but also for BTMU and MUMSS customers. As of March 31, 2010, BTMU engaged in eight businesses as the trust banking agent for MUTB: testamentary trusts, inheritance management, asset succession planning, inheritance management agency operations, business management financial consulting, lifetime gift trusts, share disposal trusts, and marketable securities administration trusts.

Integrated Corporate Banking Business Group

The Integrated Corporate Banking Business Group covers all domestic and overseas corporate businesses, including commercial banking, investment banking, trust banking and securities businesses, as well as UnionBanCal Corporation (UNBC). UNBC is a wholly owned subsidiary of BTMU and a US bank hol ding company with Union Bank being its primary subsidiary. T! he Compan! y provides various financial solutions, such as loans and fund management, remittance and foreign exchange services. It also helps its customers develop business strategies, such as inheritance-related business transfers and stock listings.

It offers advanced financial solutions to companies through corporate and investment banking services. Product specialists globally provide derivatives, securitization, syndicated loans, structured finance and other services. It also provides investment banking services, such as merger and acquisition (M&A) advisory, bond and equity underwriting. It provides online banking services that allow customers to make domestic and overseas remittances electronically. It also provides a global cash pooling/netting service, and the Treasury Station, a fund management system for a multi-company group. The Company’s global Corporate and Investment Banking business (Global CIB), primarily serves companies, financial institutions, and s overeign and multinational organizations with a set of solutions for their financing needs.

Integrated Trust Assets Business Group

The Integrated Trust Assets Business Group covers asset management and administration services for products, such as pension trusts and security trusts by integrating the trust banking expertise of MUTB and the international strengths of BTMU. The business group provides a range of services to corporate and pension funds, including stable and secure pension fund management and administration, advice on pension schemes, and payment of benefits to scheme members. Its Integrated Trust Assets Business Group combines MUTB’s trust assets business, comprising trust assets management services, asset administration and custodial services, and the businesses of Mitsubishi UFJ Global Custody S.A., Mitsubishi UFJ Asset Management Co., Ltd. and KOKUSAI Asset Management Co., Ltd.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Yesterday in Tokyo, the Nikkei 225 stock index (NKY:IND) closed up 3.13%. Financial and real estate stocks were the big winners. In the financial sector, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU) rose 5.03% and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (SMFG) climbed 5.0%. (Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group is a member of my Jubak’s Picks portfolio.) In the real estate sector, Heiwa Real Estate (8803:JP) gained 4.13% and Mitsui Fudosan (8801:JP) advanced 3.31%. The yen fell against the dollar by 0.4% to 102.34 yen to the dollar.

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Stocks in Japan climbed at the start of trade Tuesday, as U.S. dollar strength against the yen aided the export-oriented market. The Nikkei Stock Average (JP:NIK) advanced 1% to 14,431.03, and the broader Topix rose 1.5% to 1,201.63, with the greenback moving back above the ¥102 level versus Japan’s currency. Among exporters, stock in Canon Inc. (JP:7751) (CAJ) rose 1.6%, Mazda Motor Corp. (JP:7261) (MZDAF) tacked on 1.5%, and Sony Corp. (JP:6758) (SNE) gained 1.4%. Banking stocks were higher ahead of the conclusion of the Bank of Japan’s meeting later Tuesday, and officials are not expected to announce any changes in monetary policy. Shares of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. (JP:8306) (MTU) and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group Inc. (JP:8316) (SMFG) were each up by 1.7%.

  • [By Jim Jubak]

    Shares of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (8306:JP) in Japan or (MTU) in New York, kept on tumbling yesterday, despite unexpectedly positive earnings for the third quarter. Net income climbed to 255 billion yen ($2.5 billion) in the three months ended on December 31. That was a 5.4% increase from the December quarter of 2012, and beat the average estimate of 200 billion yen, by analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The bank is now 86% of the way to its profit target for fiscal year that ends on March 31, 2014.

Best Bank Companies To Buy Right Now: Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (BBVA)

Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (BBVA) is a diversified international financial group, with strengths in the traditional banking businesses of retail banking, asset management, private banking and wholesale banking. The Company also has investments in some of Spain’s companies. During the year ended December 31, 2009, BBVA focused its operations on six major business areas: Spain and Portugal, Wholesale Banking and Asset Management, Mexico, The United States, South America and Corporate Activities. On August 21, 2009, through its subsidiary BBVA Compass, BBVA acquired certain assets of Guaranty from the United States Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the FDIC).

Spain and Portugal

The Spain and Portugal business area focuses on providing banking services and consumer finance to private individuals, enterprises and institutions in Spain and Portugal. The main business units included in the Spain and Portugal area Spanish Retail Network, which manages individual customers, high net-worth individuals (private banking) and small companies and retailers in the Spanish market; Corporate and Business Banking, which manages business with small and medium enterprises (SMEs), large companies, institutions and developers in the Spanish market, and Other units, which includes consumer finance, that manages renting and leasing business, credit to individual and to enterprises for consumer products and Internet banking; European Insurance that manages the insurance business in Spain and Portugal, and BBVA Portugal, that manages the banking business in Portugal. The Spanish Retail Network unit services the financial and non-financial needs of households, professional practices, retailers and small businesses. The Corporate and Business Banking unit offers a range of services and products to SMEs, large companies, institutions and developers with specialized branch networks for each segment.

The Company’s European Insurance unit’s activities are conducted through! various insurance companies that provide direct insurance, reinsurance and insurance brokering services in Spain and Portugal and market products for different types of customers (private individuals, SMEs, retailers, professional service firms and providers and self-employed individuals) through this unit’s branch offices. BBVA Portugal manages its banking business in Portugal.

Wholesale Banking and Asset Management

The Wholesale Banking and Asset Management area focuses on providing services to large international companies and investment banking, capital markets and treasury management services to clients. The business units included in the Wholesale Banking and Asset Management area are Corporate and Investment Banking, which coordinates origination, distribution and management of a complete catalogue of corporate and investment banking products (corporate finance, structured finance, syndicated loans and debt capital markets) and provides g lobal trade finance and global transaction services with coverage of large corporate customers specialized by sector (industry bankers); Global Markets, which handles the origination, structuring, distribution and risk management of market products, which are placed through its trading rooms in Europe, Asia and the Americas; Asset Management, which designs and manages the products that are marketed through its different branch networks including traditional asset management, alternative asset management and Valanza (its private equity unit); Industrial and Other Holdings, which helps to diversify the area’s businesses with the aim of creating medium and long-term value through active management of a portfolio of industrial holdings and other Spanish and international projects, and Asia.

During the year ended December 31, 2009, it launched two products: BBVA Bonos Cash (BBVA Cash Bonds), a money market fund for retail customers, and BBVA Bonos Largo Plazo Gobi ernos II (BBVA Long-Term Government Bonds), a public-debt fu! nd. In ad! dition it launched through this unit additional fixed-income long-term funds, including BBVA Bonos Corporativos 2011 and BBVA Bonos 2014, which were sold to HNWI customers.

Mexico

The business units included in the Mexico area are Retail and Corporate banking and Pensions and Insurance. BBVA Bancomer launched six new mortgage products for lending to home buyers in 2009. These products included: loans for home improvements, remodeling or additions to homes and financial discount which provides liquidity to construction companies. In Mexico, it operates its pensions business through Afore Bancomer, its insurance business through Seguros Bancomer, its annuities business through Pensiones Bancomer and its health insurance business through Preventis.

The United States

The business units included in the United States area are BBVA Compass and Other units: BBVA Puerto Rico and Bancomer Transfers Services (BTS). During 2009 this un it marketed and sold several new products, The ClearPoints credit card, Business Build-to-order Checking, Compass for your Cause and Money Market Sweep.

South America

The South America business area includes its banking, insurance and pension businesses in South America. The business units included in the South America business area are Retail and Corporate Banking, which includes banks in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela; Pension businesses, which includes pensions businesses in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and Dominican Republic, and Insurance businesses, which includes insurance businesses in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic and Venezuela.

Corporate Activities

The Corporate Activities area handles its general management functions. These mainly consist of structural positions for interest rates associated with the euro balance sheet and excha nge rates, together with liquidity management and shareholde! rs’ fun! ds.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By fedezaldua]

    On the capitalization side, Santander has gotten significantly better, and I would expect the bank to show a Basel 2 tier 1 capital ratio of 12% by the end of 2014, which is around what most analysts expect for its closest peer, Banco Bilbao Viscaya Argentaria (BBVA) – most commonly known as BBVA.

  • [By Jim Woods]

    If you’re looking for an income-producing dividend stock to fill the void, consider the classic pure plays AT&T (T) and Verizon (VZ).

    Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA)

    When it comes to suspending dividends, the Europeans don’t want to be left out. In October, Spain’s biggest financial institution, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), cut its annual dividend by putting a cap on payouts for 2014 (and going forward) to 40% of profits.