Best Bank Stocks To Buy For 2014


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Best Bank Stocks To Buy For 2014: GAIN Capital Holdings Inc (GCAP)


GAIN Capital Holdings Inc. (GAIN Capital) is an independent provider of online forex trading. GAIN Capital offers online trading services, specializing in foreign exchange (FX), contracts for difference (CFDs) and equities to retail and institutional traders worldwide. GAIN Capital provides execution, clearing, custody and technology products and services to an institutional client base, including asset managers, broker/dealers and other financial services firms. GAIN Capital’s trading services include FOREX.com, GAIN GTX, GAIN Securities and Asset Management. In September 2012, it acquired Open E Cry, LLC from optionsXpress Holdings, Inc., which is a subsidiary of The Charles Schwab Corporation. Effective September 24, 2013, GAIN Capital Holdings Inc acquired the entire share capital of Global Futures & Forex Ltd, a provider of retail forex and derivative trading services.


FOREX.com

GAIN Capital’s FOREX.com is used by self-directed retail tra ders and professional money managers in over 140 countries worldwide. FOREX.com provides a range of trading interfaces, such as FOREXTrader PRO, Website Trading, FOREXTrader Mobile and MetaTrader4.

GAIN GTX

GAIN GTX offers a range of automated and manual strategies on both the buy and sell side. Automated trading strategies can be programmed and executed using a Java or Financial Information Exchange (FIX)-based Academic Performance Index (API). It is used by individual traders, hedge funds and financial institutions.


GAIN Securities

GAIN Securities is a brokerage firm offering customers access to a full suite of investment products and trading services, including equities, equity and FX options, exchange traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and fixed income. It is used by individual investors.

Asset Management

GAIN Capital’s Managed Forex Account Program (MAC) is offered by GAIN Capital Asset Manage ment LLC (GCAM, LLC). MAC provides qualified institutional i! nvestors access to the FX market.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By The GeoTeam]

    We also look for companies going through defining events that can significantly change their growth trajectory. One of these situations is a transformative acquisition, such as one that Gain Capital Holdings (GCAP) is in the process of consummating. We coded GCAP a GeoBargain on June 6, 2013, at $5.30. On June 12, 2013 we released our bullish thesis for GCAP on Seeking Alpha, "Double Your Gains With Gain Capital Holdings." Fast forward just 3 months from the time of our release and the stock has lived up to our title, returning investors over 100% so far.

  • [By John Udovich]

    Small cap stocks FXCM Inc (NYSE: FXCM), Gain Capital Holdings Inc (NYSE: GCAP) and up and coming Indo Global Exchanges PteLtd (OTCMKTS: IGEX) all offer online trading platforms to retail or institutional traders and investors. Certainly if you have found yourself trading more lately or if markets become more volatile, trading platforms are going to be the big winners. With that in mind, here is a close look at these three small cap trading platform stocks: 

Best Bank Stocks To Buy For 2014: Citigroup Inc.(C)

Citigroup, Inc., a global financial services company, provides consumers, corporations, governments, and institutions with a range of financial products and services. The company operates through two segments, Citicorp and Citi Holdings. The Citicorp segment operates as a global bank for businesses and consumers with two primary businesses, Regional Consumer Banking and Institutional Clients Group. The Regional Consumer Banking business provides traditional banking services, including retail banking, and branded cards in North America, Asia, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. The Institutional Clients Group business provides securities and banking services comprising investment banking and advisory services, lending, debt and equity sales and trading, institutional brokerage, foreign exchange, structured products, cash instruments and related derivatives, and private banking; and transaction services consisting of treasury and trade solutions, and securiti es and fund services. The Citi Holdings segment operates Brokerage and Asset Management, Local Consumer Lending, and Special Asset Pool businesses. The Brokerage and Asset Management Business, through its 49% stake in Morgan Stanley Smith Barney joint venture and Nikko Cordial Securities, offers retail brokerage and asset management services. The Local Consumer Lending business provides residential mortgage loans, retail partner card loans, personal loans, commercial real estate, and other consumer loans, as well as western European cards and retail banking services. The Special Asset Pool business is a portfolio of securities, loans, and other assets. Citigroup Inc. has approximately 200 million customer accounts and operates in approximately 160 countries. The company was founded in 1812 and is based in New York, New York.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By WALLSTCHEATSHEET]

    Citigroup is a bellwether that offers essential financial products and services to consumers and companies worldwide. The company said on Friday that it discovered fraudulent loans in its Mexico subsidiary and that its employees may have been in on the crime. The stock has struggled to make significant progress over the last couple of quarters and is currently trading sideways. Over the last four quarters, earnings and revenues have been rising. However, investors have had conflicting feelings about recent earnings announcements. Relative to its peers and sector, Citigroup has been a poor year-to-date performer. WAIT AND SEE what Citigroup does this quarter.

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) offers traditional banking and credit card services at 172 branches in its Europe/Middle East/Africa regional consumer banking operation, of which Poland, Russia and the UAE are the largest. The bank also holds $10.3 billion in aggregate assets in Russia, making it the bank’s 10-largest emerging market holding. The bulk of the assets comprises $6.5 billion in loans held by the Institutional Clients Group and $1.7 billion in loans held by the Global Consumer Banking group.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy For 2014: Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA)


Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) is a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) chartered by the United States Congress to support liquidity and stability in the secondary mortgage market, where mortgage-related assets are purchased and sold. The Company’s activities include providing market liquidity by securitizing mortgage loans originated by lenders in the primary mortgage market into Fannie Mae mortgage-backed securities (Fannie Mae MBS), and purchasing mortgage loans and mortgage-related securities in the secondary market for its mortgage portfolio. Fannie Mae operates in three business segments: Single-Family business, Multifamily Business (formerly Housing and Community Development (HCD)) and Capital Markets group. Its Single-Family Credit Guaranty and Multifamily businesses work with its lender customers to purchase and securitize mortgage loans customers deliver to the Company into Fannie Mae MBS.


The Company obtains funds to support its business activities by issuing a variety of debt securities in the domestic and international capital markets. Fannie Mae acquires funds to purchase mortgage-related assets for its mortgage portfolio by issuing a variety of debt securities in the domestic and international capital markets. It also makes other investments. Fannie Mae conducts its business in the United States residential mortgage market and the global securities market. It conducts business in the United States residential mortgage market and the global securities market. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company’s


Single-Family Business

Single-Family business includes mortgage securitizations, mortgage acquisitions, credit risk management and credit loss management. Single-Family business works with the Company’s lender customers to provide funds to the mortgage market by securitizing single-family mortgage loans into Fannie Mae MBS. Its Single-Family business al so works with its Capital Markets group to facilitate the pu! rchase of single-family mortgage loans for the Company’s mortgage portfolio. Fannie Mae’s Single-Family business prices and manages the credit risk on its single-family guaranty book of business, which consists of single-family mortgage loans underlying Fannie Mae MBS and single-family loans held in its mortgage portfolio. Single-Family business and Capital Markets group securitize and purchase primarily single-family fixed-rate or adjustable-rate, first lien mortgage loans, or mortgage-related securities backed by these types of loans.


The Company securitizes or purchases loans insured by Federal Housing Administration (FHA), loans guaranteed by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and loans guaranteed by the Rural Development Housing and Community Facilities Program of the Department of Agriculture, manufactured housing loans, reverse mortgage loans, multifamily mortgage loans, subordinate lien mortgage loans and other mortgage-related securities. Its Single-Family business securitizes single-family mortgage loans and issues single-class Fannie Mae MBS. Fannie Mae’s Single-Family business securitizes loans solely in lender swap transactions, in which lenders deliver pools of mortgage loans to the Company, which are placed immediately in a trust, in exchange for Fannie Mae MBS backed by these loans. Generally, the servicing of the mortgage loans held in its mortgage portfolio or that backs its Fannie Mae MBS is performed by mortgage servicers on the Company’s behalf. Lenders who sell single-family mortgage loans to Fannie Mae service these loans for the Company. For loans it owns or guarantees, the lender or servicer must obtain its approval before selling servicing rights to another servicer.


Fannie Mae’s mortgage servicers collect and deliver principal and interest payments, administer escrow accounts, monitor and report delinquencies, perform default prevention activities, evaluate transfers of owners hip interests, respond to requests for partial releases of s! ecurity, ! and handle proceeds from casualty and condemnation losses. Its mortgage servicers are the primary point of contact for borrowers and perform implementation of its homeownership assistance initiatives, negotiation of workouts of troubled loans, and loss mitigation activities. Mortgage servicers also inspect and preserve properties and process foreclosures and bankruptcies.


Multifamily Mortgage Business

Multifamily business works with the Company’s lender customers to provide funds to the mortgage market by securitizing multifamily mortgage loans into Fannie Mae MBS. Through its Multifamily business, Fannie Mae provides liquidity and support to the United States multifamily housing market principally by purchasing or securitizing loans that finance multifamily rental housing properties. It also provides some limited debt financing for other acquisition, development, construction and rehabilitation activity related to projects that complement this bu siness. Fannie Mae’s Multifamily business also works with its Capital Markets group to facilitate the purchase and securitization of multifamily mortgage loans and securities for Fannie Mae’s portfolio, as well as to facilitate portfolio securitization and resecuritization activities.


The Company’s multifamily guaranty book of business consists of multifamily mortgage loans underlying Fannie Mae MBS and multifamily loans and securities held in Fannie Mae’s mortgage portfolio. Revenues for Fannie Mae’s Multifamily business are derived from a variety of sources, including guaranty fees received as compensation for assuming the credit risk on the mortgage loans underlying multifamily Fannie Mae MBS and on the multifamily mortgage loans held in its portfolio and on other mortgage-related securities; transaction fees associated with the multifamily business, and other bond credit enhancement related fees. As with the servicing of single-family mortgages, mu ltifamily mortgage servicing is performed by the lenders who! sell the! mortgages to the Company. Fannie Mae’s Multifamily business is organized and operated as an integrated commercial real estate finance business.


Capital Markets

Capital Markets group’s primary business activities include mortgage and other investments, mortgage securitizations, structured mortgage securitizations and other customer services, and interest rate risk management. Capital Markets group manages the Company’s investment activity in mortgage-related assets and other interest-earning, non-mortgage investments. It funds its investments primarily through proceeds the Company receives from the issuance of debt securities in the domestic and international capital markets. Its business activity is focused on making short-term use of its balance sheet rather than long-term investments. Activities Fannie Mae is undertaking to provide liquidity to the mortgage market include whole loan conduit, early funding, real estate mortgage investment cond uit (REMICs) and other structured securitizations and dollar roll transactions. Whole loan conduit activities include its purchase of both single-family and multifamily loans principally for the purpose of securitizing them. During the year ended December 31, 2010, it was engaged in dollar roll activity. A dollar roll transaction is a commitment to purchase a mortgage-related security with a concurrent agreement to re-sell a similar security at a later date or vice versa.


Fannie Mae’s Capital Markets group is engaged in issuing both single-class and multi-class Fannie Mae MBS through both portfolio securitizations and structured securitizations involving third party assets. Its Capital Markets group creates single-class and multi-class Fannie Mae MBS from mortgage-related assets held in its mortgage portfolio. Fannie Mae’s Capital Markets group may sell these Fannie Mae MBS into the secondary market or may retain the Fannie Mae MBS in its investment portfoli o. The Company’s Capital Markets group creates single-clas! s and mul! ti-class structured Fannie Mae MBS, for its lender customers or securities dealer customers, in exchange for a transaction fee. The Company’s Capital Markets group provides its lender customers and their affiliates with services that include offering to purchase a range of mortgage assets, including non-standard mortgage loan products; segregating customer portfolios to obtain optimal pricing for their mortgage loans, and assisting customers with hedging their mortgage business.


Although the Company’s Capital Markets group’s business activities are focused on short-term financing and investing, revenue from its Capital Markets group is derived primarily from the difference, or spread, between the interests it earns on its mortgage and non-mortgage investments and the interest it incurs on the debt the Company issues to fund these assets. Its Capital Markets revenues are primarily derived from the Company’s mortgage asset portfolio. Capital Markets group funds its investments primarily through the issuance of a variety of debt securities in a range of maturities in the domestic and international capital markets. Investors in the Company’s debt securities include commercial bank portfolios and trust departments, investment fund managers, insurance companies, pension funds, state and local governments, and central banks.


The Company competes with Freddie Mac, FHA and Ginnie Mae.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    The S&P 500 fell 0.5% to 1,867.63, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.4% to 16,351.25. Goldman Sachs fell 2.1% to $169.89 today (weakness in commodities hitting the investment banks?), while United Technologies declined 1.8% to $115.64 and E.I. du Pont de Nemours dropped 2% to $66.01 after it said that bad weather and turmoil in the Ukraine would hit earnings. Fannie Mae (FNMA) fell 31% and Freddie Mac (FMCC) dropped 27% after leaders of the Senate banking committee Senate agreed on a plan to wind them down.

  • [By Alexander MacLennan]

    Mortgage giants
    As the name implies, government sponsored entities (GSEs) have a relationship with the government that is more than the standard private corporation-to-government relationship. But after the financial crisis of 2008 and some changes to the financing terms in 2012, Fannie Mae (NASDAQOTCBB: FNMA  ) and Freddie Mac (NASDAQOTCBB: FMCC  ) are more in government control than almost any other shareholder-owned corporation.

  • [By Jason Zweig]

    If you have explosive gains on stocks like Fannie Mae(FNMA) (up 968% over the past 12 months), Netflix(NFLX) (up 163% over the same period) or Priceline.com(PCLN) (up 74%), it isn’t just time to reassess what you are investing in. It is time to reassess what kind of investor you are.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy For 2014: Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI)


Raiffeisen Bank International AG (RBI) is an Austria-based bank that focuses on corporate and retail banking sector. The Bank offers a range of products and consulting services, as well as market knowledge. The Bank’s products and solutions include financing, leasing, investing, hedging, trade & export finance, investment banking, cash management, payment services, custody & fund services, and cards, among others. RBI is organized into seven segments: the Central Europe segment encompassed the banking markets in the European Union countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) region; the Southeastern Europe segment comprises Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria and Croatia, among others; the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) other segment comprises Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine; the Group Corporates segment covers business with corporate customers of the Bank; the Group Markets segment covers capital market customers and business; Corporate Center, and Russia. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rebecca Bundhun]

    The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently banned banks from issuing loans under the “80:20 scheme”, which, through a three-way agreement between the lender, the developer, and the homebuyer, allowed the customer to pay 20% upfront, while the remainder of the loan would be issued to the developer, regardless of the stage of construction.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy For 2014: Flagstar Bancorp Inc (FBC)

Flagstar Bancorp, Inc. incorporated on October 28, 1993, is a savings and loan holding company. The Company’s business is primarily conducted through its principal subsidiary, Flagstar Bank, FSB (the Bank), a federally chartered stock savings bank. At December 31, 2012, its total assets were $ $14.1 billion. The Bank’s wholly owned subsidiary is Flagstar Capital Markets Corporation (FCMC). The Company operates in two segments: Community Banking and Mortgage Banking. The Community Banking segment offers a line of financial products and services to individuals, small and middle market businesses, and mortgage lenders. Its Mortgage Banking segment originates, acquires, sells and services residential first mortgage loans on one-to-four family residences. The Bank’s Other segment include corporate treasury, tax benefits not assigned to specific operating segments, and miscellaneous other expenses of a corporate nature.


Community Banking

Communit y Banking segment includes Branch Banking, Commercial and Business Banking, Government Banking, and Warehouse Lending. Community Banking segment originates loans and deposits to consumer, business and mortgage lending customers through its Branch Banking, Business and Commercial Banking, Government Banking, and Warehouse Lending groups. Products offered include checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, certificates of deposit, consumer loans, commercial loans and warehouse lines of credit. Other financial services available to consumer and commercial customers include lines of credit, revolving credit, customized treasury management solutions, equipment leasing, inventory and accounts receivable lending and capital markets services such as interest rate risk protection products. At December 31, 2012, Branch Banking included 111 banking centers located throughout Michigan. As of December 31, 2012, the commercial loans held-for-investment totaled $0.7 billion , and consisted of commercial real estate, commercial and in! dustrial and commercial lease financing. At December 31, 2012, its commercial real estate loans held-for-investment totaled $640.3 million.


Commercial and industrial held-for-investment loan facilities include lines of credit to its small or middle market businesses for use in normal business operations to finance working capital needs, equipment purchases and expansion projects. At December 31, 2012 its commercial and industrial held-for-investment loans totaled $90.6 million. Its commercial lease financing held-for-investment loan portfolio is comprised of equipment leased to customers in a direct financing lease. At December 31, 2012 its commercial lease financing held-for-investment loans totaled $6.3 million. The Company offers warehouse lines of credit to other mortgage lenders. As of December 31, 2012, there were 311 warehouse lines of credit to other mortgage lenders with an average size of $7.5 million.


Mortgage Banking

The Co mpany’s Mortgage Banking segment originates, acquires, sells and services one-to-four family residential first mortgage loans. Mortgage loans are originated through home lending centers, national call centers, the Internet, unaffiliated banks and mortgage brokerage companies. Also, the Mortgage Banking segment services mortgage loans for others and sells MSRs into the secondary market.

In a home lending center transaction, loans are originated through a network of its loan origination centers, as well as referrals from its Banking segment and the national call center. At December 31, 2012, the Company maintained 31 loan origination centers. In a broker transaction, an unaffiliated bank or mortgage brokerage company completes the loan paperwork, but the loans are underwritten on a loan-level basis to its underwriting standards and it supplies the funding for the loan at closing thereby becoming the lender of record. As of December 31, 2012, the Company had acti ve broker relationships with over 1,700 banks, credit unions! , and mor! tgage brokerage companies. In a correspondent transaction, an unaffiliated bank or mortgage company completes the loan paperwork and also supplies the funding for the loan at closing. As of December 31, 2012, the Bank had active correspondent relationships with over 1,300 companies, including banks, credit unions, and mortgage companies.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jessica Alling]

    Outside the Dow, insurer MBIA (NYSE: MBI  ) is up 11.3% after settling a legal case with lender Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE: FBC  ) over two mortgage-backed securities transactions. MBIA alleged that Flagstar misrepresented the securities, resulting in the insurer’s payout of $165 million on the policies. Flagstar has agreed to pay MBIA $110 million to settle the case. This legal dispute is similar to the current battle between MBIA and Bank of America. The insurer recently lost its bid for a pretrial ruling on the case, driving the stock lower.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of mortgage insurer MBIA (NYSE: MBI) climbed 10% today after settling its lawsuit against Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE: FBC), in which it accused the bank of misrepresenting the loan quality underlying $1.1 billion in mortgage-backed securities.  

Best Bank Stocks To Buy For 2014: Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc (CFR)

Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc. (Cullen/Frost), incorporated in 1977, is a financial holding company and a bank holding company. The Company offers commercial and consumer banking services, as well as trust and investment management, mutual funds, Section 1031 property exchange services, investment banking, insurance, brokerage, leasing, asset-based lending, treasury management and item processing services. At December 31, 2011, Cullen/Frost had consolidated total assets of $20.3 billion. The Company operates in two segments: Banking and Frost Wealth Advisors. The Company serves a variety of industries including, among others, energy, manufacturing, services, construction, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, military and transportation. On January 1, 2012, the Company acquired Stone Partners, Inc., a Houston-based human resources consulting firm that specializes in compensation, benefits and outsourcing services. During the year ended December 31, 2011, the Company acquired an insurance agency in the San Antonio market area.


Cullen/Frost’s subsidiaries include The New Galveston Company, Cullen/Frost Capital Trust II (Trust II), The Frost National Bank (Frost Bank), Frost Insurance Agency, Inc., Frost Brokerage Services, Inc. (FBS), Frost Premium Finance Corporation, Frost Investment Advisors, LLC, Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC, Frost Securities, Inc. and Main Plaza Corporation. The Banking operating segment includes both commercial and consumer banking services, Frost Securities, Inc. and Frost Insurance Agency. Commercial banking services are provided to corporations and other business clients and include an array of lending and cash management products. Consumer banking services include direct lending and depository services. Frost Insurance Agency provides insurance brokerage services to individuals and businesses covering corporate and personal property and casualty products, as well as group health and life insurance products. F rost Securities, Inc. provides advisory and private equity s! ervices to middle market companies. The Frost Wealth Advisors operating segment includes fee-based services within private trust, retirement services, and financial management services, including personal wealth management and brokerage services. The parent company’s principal activities include the direct and indirect ownership of the Corporation’s banking and non-banking subsidiaries and the issuance of debt and equity.


The New Galveston Company

The New Galveston Company is a wholly owned second-tier financial holding company and bank holding company. The Company directly owns all of Cullen/Frost’s banking and non-banking subsidiaries with the exception of Cullen/Frost Capital Trust II.

Cullen/Frost Capital Trust II

Trust II is a business trust formed for the purpose of issuing trust preferred securities and lending the proceeds to Cullen/Frost. Trust II is a variable interest entity for which the Company is not t he primary beneficiary.


The Frost National Bank

The Frost National Bank (Frost Bank) is primarily engaged in the business of commercial and consumer banking through approximately 115 financial centers across Texas in the Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio regions. At December 31, 2011, Frost Bank had consolidated total assets of $20.3 billion and total deposits of $16.8 billion. Frost Bank provides commercial banking services to corporations and other business clients. Loans are made for a variety of general corporate purposes, including financing for industrial and commercial properties and to a lesser extent, financing for interim construction related to industrial and commercial properties, financing for equipment, inventories and accounts receivable, and acquisition financing, as well as commercial leasing and treasury management services.


Frost Bank provides a range of consumer b anking services, including checking accounts, savings progra! ms, autom! ated teller machines, overdraft facilities, installment and real estate loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, drive-in and night deposit services, safe deposit facilities, and brokerage services. Frost Bank provides international banking services to customers residing in or dealing with businesses located in Mexico. These services consist of accepting deposits, making loans, issuing letters of credit, handling foreign collections, transmitting funds, and to a limited extent, dealing in foreign exchange.


Frost Bank acts as correspondent for approximately 316 financial institutions, which are primarily banks in Texas. These banks maintain deposits with Frost Bank, which offers them a range of services, including check clearing, transfer of funds, fixed income security services, and securities custody and clearance services. Frost Bank provides a range of trust, investment, agency and custodial services for individual and corporate clients. These services i nclude the administration of estates and personal trusts, as well as the management of investment accounts for individuals, employee benefit plans and charitable foundations. Frost Bank’s Capital Markets Division offers services, such as sales and trading, new issue underwriting, money market trading, and securities safekeeping and clearance.


Frost Insurance Agency, Inc.

Frost Insurance Agency, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost Insurance Agency, Inc. provides insurance brokerage services to individuals and businesses covering corporate and personal property and casualty insurance products, as well as group health and life insurance products.

Frost Brokerage Services, Inc.

FBS is a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. FBS provides brokerage services and performs other transactions or operations related to the sale and purchase of securities of all types.


Frost Premium Finance Corporat ion

Frost Premium Finance Corporation is a who! lly owned! subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost Premium Finance Corporation makes loans to qualified borrowers for the purpose of financing their purchase of property and casualty insurance.

Frost Investment Advisors, LLC

Frost Investment Advisors, LLC is a registered investment advisor entity and a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost Investment Advisors, LLC provides investors access to various Frost-managed mutual funds.

Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC


Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Frost Bank. Frost 1031 Exchange, LLC assists customers in structuring the exchange of property such that the transactions result in a tax-deferred exchange in compliance with Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Frost Securities, Inc.

Frost Securities, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of The New Galveston Company. Frost Securities, Inc. provides advisory and private equity services to middle m arket companies in Texas.

Main Plaza Corporation

Main Plaza Corporation is a wholly owned non-banking subsidiary of The New Galveston Company. Main Plaza Corporation occasionally makes loans to qualified borrowers.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sarah Jones]

    Richemont (CFR) rallied 8.3 percent to 73.80 Swiss francs, the biggest gain since December 2008. The Swiss company said full- year net income climbed about 30 percent as the dollar’s strength against the euro boosted sales growth. Analysts had expected a 25 percent gain in profit, according to the average of 17 estimates compiled by Bloomberg.

  • [By Jack Adamo]

    Steve Halpern: Another new recommendation is Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR). There you’ve been recommending the 5.375% Perpetual Preferred Series A (CFR-PA). Now, you call Cullen/Frost one of the best little banks in Texas. What makes this such an attractive issue?

  • [By Sofia Horta e Costa]

    Sanofi fell 2.6 percent after withdrawing a U.S. application for a diabetes drug. Cie. Financiere Richemont (CFR) SA dropped 2.3 percent as revenue missed analysts’ estimates. Vivendi SA advanced 2.7 percent after saying it will begin a formal study to separate its French phone unit from its media businesses. Home Retail Group Plc (HOME) surged 5.4 percent to a two-year high as sales exceeded projections.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy For 2014: Bank of Communications Co Ltd (BKFCF)

Bank of Communications Co., Ltd. is principally engaged in banking and related financial services. The Bank’s business is divided into four segments: personal banking, including personal savings, bank card, personal lending, payment and settlement, investment services, insurance services and wealth management; corporate banking, comprised of cash management, supplying chain financing, investment banking, financial institutional banking and asset custody services; international banking, consisting of foreign exchange wealth management, document settlement, remittance and bill services, trade finance and offshore banking, and e-banking, including personal online banking, enterprise online banking, mobile banking, telephone banking and self-help banking. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    HONG KONG (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong stocks opened lower Tuesday, after China’s central bank reportedly drained 48 billion yuan ($7.9 billion) from the money market on Tuesday through bond-repurchase agreements. The Hang Seng Index (HK:HSI) moved lower by 0.3%. Banks retreated, as China Merchants Bank Co., (HK:3968) (CIHHF) declined 2.2%, Bank of Communications Co. (HK:3328) (BKFCF) fell 1.6%, China Minsheng Banking Corp. (HK:1988) (CMAKY) lost 1.4%, and China Citic Bank Corporation (HK:998) (CHCJY) dropped 1.2%. China’s Dongfeng Motor Group Co. (HK:489) , currently in negotiations to buy a stake in PSA Peugeot Citroen, suspended trading of its H-shares in Hong Kong markets. The state-owned car maker didn’t clarify the reason in the announcement. On Monday, the company said in a filing that its commercial-vehicle unit has been served with a request for arbitration by a Brazilian firm, which is seeking damages of approximately 1.67 billion Brazilian reals ($700 million) for Dongfeng’s failure to establish a joint venture with the firm. On the mainland, the Shanghai Composite Index (CN:SHCOMP) gave up 0.5% to 2,125.54.

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Hong Kong stocks started modestly lower Thursday, tracking broad weakness in Asia, with mainland Chinese banks mixed after the release of November lending data. The Hang Seng Index (HK:HSI) lost 0.2% to 23,288.02, while the Hang Seng China Enterprises Index fell 0.4%. However, the Shanghai Composite (CN:SHCOMP) added 0.1% to 2,205.39 in choppy trade that saw it swing between positive and negative territory. Mainland Chinese banks saw mixed reaction after data showed new yuan-denominated loans rose to 624.6 billion yuan ($102 billion) in November, more than 100 billion yuan above the year-earlier figure and beating market forecasts of between 560 billion yuan and 580 billion yuan, according to the XInhua news agency. Among the top banks, Bank of China Ltd. (HK:3988) (BACHY) was up 0.3%, Bank of Communications Co. (HK:3328) (BKFCF) rose 0.2%, Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. (HK:1288) (ACGBF) traded flat, and Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd. (HK:1398) (IDCBF) fell 0.6%. Shares of Aluminum Corp. of China Ltd. (HK:2600) (ACH) lost 0.7% after saying it could see a drop of up to 37% in output from a key Peruvian copper mine. Angang Steel Co. (HK:347) (ANGGF)

Best Bank Stocks To Buy For 2014: Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd (BXRBF)


Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited (the Bank) is engaged in the range of banking and other financial services, including retail banking, mortgage distribution through third-parties, business lending, margin lending, business banking and commercial finance, invoice discounting, funds management, treasury and foreign exchange services (including trade finance), superannuation, financial advisory and trustee services. In retail banking it derives income from the provision of first mortgage finance less interest paid to depositors; and fee income from the provision of banking services delivered through the Company-owned branch network and the interest and fee income from the Community Bank branch network. In third party banking it derives income and fees from the manufacture and processing of residential home loans. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks enjoyed early Monday gains after an advance for commodities and U.S. stocks since the last session, with a relatively good reception for earnings. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.4% to 5,376.30, with miners tracking gains in gold and copper. Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) added 1.3%, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) traded 1.1% higher, while gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. (AU:KCN) (KSKGF) rallied 2.2% and 4.7%, respectively. Banks rose after Wall Street shares climbed on Friday, with National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) up 1% and Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) adding 0.9%, though Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) dropped 2.4% as it traded without rights to its latest dividend. Coal transport firm Aurizon Holdings Ltd. (AU:AZJ) (QRNNF) tacked on 2.1% as its fiscal first-half underlying profit increased 18%, though net profit f

Best Bank Stocks To Buy For 2014: ASB Bancorp Inc (ASBB)


ASB Bancorp, Inc. (ASB Bancorp), incorporated in May 2011, focuses to become the holding company for Asheville Savings Bank, S.S.B. (Asheville Savings Bank). ASB Bancorp, Inc.’s business activity will be the ownership of the Asheville Savings Bank. Asheville Savings Bank is a chartered savings bank. It operates as a community-oriented financial institution offering traditional financial services to consumers and businesses in its market area. It attracts deposits from the general public and use those funds to originate one-to four-family residential mortgage loans and commercial real estate loans, and home equity loans and lines of credit, consumer loans, construction and land development loans, and commercial and industrial loans. It conducts its lending and deposit activities with individuals and small businesses in its primary market area. Its market area is Asheville, North Carolina and the rest of Buncombe County where it has eight branch offices, as well as Henders on, Madison, McDowell and Transylvania Counties where it has five branch offices.


Lending Activities

Asheville Savings Bank loan portfolio include real estate mortgage loans, including one- to four-family residential mortgage loans and commercial mortgage loans, and revolving mortgage loans, which consist of home equity loans and lines of credit, consumer loans, construction and land development loans, and commercial and industrial loans. As of March 31, 2011, it had $177.8 million in one- to four-family residential loans, which represented 36.7% of its total loan portfolio. Its origination of residential mortgage loans enables borrowers to purchase or refinance existing homes located in its primary market area. It offers a mix of adjustable rate mortgage loans and fixed-rate mortgage loans with terms of up to 30 years.

Asheville Savings Bank offers fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgage loans secured by non-residential real estate and mu lti-family properties. As of March 31, 2011, commercial mort! gage loans totaled $162.7 million, or 33.5% of its total loan portfolio. Its commercial mortgage loans are secured by commercial, industrial and manufacturing, small to moderately-sized office and retail properties, hotels, multi-family properties and hospitals and churches located in its primary market area. As of March 31, 2011, $35.6 million or 21.9% of its commercial real estate loans were secured by owner-occupied properties. It originates fixed-rate and adjustable-rate commercial mortgage loans, generally with terms of three to five years and payments based on an amortization schedule of up to 25 years. It has originated construction and land development loans for commercial properties, such as retail shops and office units, and multi-family properties, and construction and land development loans for one-to four-family homes. As of March 31, 2011, commercial construction and land development loans totaled $27.8 million, which represented 5.7% of its total loan portfoli o, and residential construction and land development loans totaled $7.9 million, which represented 1.6% of its total loan portfolio. As of March 31, 2011, it had speculative residential construction loans of $3.1 million and speculative commercial construction loans of $9.6 million.

Asheville Savings Bank offers revolving mortgage loans, which consist of home equity loans and lines of credit, and various consumer loans, including automobile loans and loans secured by deposits. As of March 31, 2011, revolving mortgage loans totaled $52 million, or 10.7% of its total loan portfolio, and consumer loans totaled $41.1 million, or 8.5% of its total loan portfolio. Its revolving mortgage loans consist of both home equity loans with fixed-rate amortizing term loans with terms of up to 15 years and adjustable rate lines of credit with interest rates indexed to the prime rate.

Asheville Savings Bank offers commercial and industrial loans to small businesses located in its primary market area. As of March 31, 2011, co! mmercial ! and industrial loans totaled $15.8 million, which represented 3.2% of its total loan portfolio. Its commercial and industrial loan portfolio consists of loans, which are secured by equipment, accounts receivable and inventory, but also includes a smaller amount of unsecured loans for purposes of financing expansion or providing working capital for general business purposes.

Investment Activities

As of March 31, 2011, Asheville Savings Bank’s investment portfolio consisted of the United States government and agency securities, mortgage-backed securities and securities issued by government sponsored enterprises, and municipal securities. As of March 31, 2011, its securities portfolio represented 27.2% of total assets. As of March 31, 2011, $198.6 million of its securities portfolio was classified as available for sale and $5.7 million of its securities portfolio was classified as held to maturity. Securities classified as held to maturity are United States government sponsored securities, mortgage-backed securities and state and local government securities. As of March 31, 2011, it had four million dollars of other investments, at cost, which consisted of Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta.

Sources of Funds

Deposits, borrowings and loan repayments are the sources of Asheville Savings Bank funds for lending and other investment purposes. It uses advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta to supplement its investable funds. The Federal Home Loan Bank functions as a central reserve bank providing credit for member financial institutions. Advances are made under several different programs, each having its own interest rate and range of maturities. It also utilizes securities sold under agreements to repurchase and overnight repurchase agreements to supplement its supply of investable funds and to meet deposit withdrawal requirements.

Subsidiaries

Asheville Saving s Bank has two subsidiaries, Appalachian Financial Services,! Inc., wh! ich was formed to engage in investment activities, and Wenoca, Inc., which serves as Asheville Savings Bank’s trustee regarding deeds of trust. Both subsidiaries are organized as North Carolina corporations.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Tim Melvin]

    ASB Bancorp (ASBB) is the holding company for Ashville in western North Carolina. The bank has 13 branches and total assets of around $733 million. Nonperforming assets are just 2.1% of total assets and the bank is massively over-reserved for future losses, with loan reserves at 6 times nonperforming loans. The bank bought back 544,494 shares of common stock at an average price of $16.79 per share in 2013. The board just authorized a new 5% buyback in January 2014. The stock is trading around 80% of book value, so management is buying the shares on the cheap — and that should bode well for shareholders in the future.