Top Bank Companies For 2014

In a world where even the Pope calls himself a sinner, there are profits to be made by peddling temptation. Traditional “sin stocks” – those involving guns, alcohol, tobacco and gambling – have been on a roll over the past year. And vice stocks continue to hold long-term appeal.

See Also: This Fund Beats the Market with Faith-Based Rules

Of course, sensitive investors might balk at investing in companies that make or market products they find abhorrent. But sin is a relative term. A teetotaler might eschew stocks of liquor companies, for example, while another investor could argue that soft drinks are just as bad for your health. “There is a lot of gray area,” says Patrick Morris, chief executive of Hagin Investment Management, a New York City money manager.

Top Bank Companies For 2014: Westpac Banking Corp (WEBNF)

Westpac Banking Corporation is a banking company. It operates through three divisions: Australian Financial Services (AFS), Westpac Institutional Bank (WIB) and Westpac New Zealand. AFS consists of Westpac’s retail and business banking operations in Australia, and includes Westpac Retail & Business Banking (Westpac RBB), St.George Banking Group and BT Financial Group Australia (BFTG). Westpac RBB is responsible for sales and service for consumer, small-to-medium enterprise customers and commercial customers under the Westpac brands. St.George is responsible for sales, and service for its consumer, business and corporate customers in Australia under brands, such as St.George and BankSA. BTFG is Westpac’s Australian wealth management division. In January 2014, the Company completed the acquisition of Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s Australian asset finance business, Capital Finance Australia Limited, and its Australian corporate loan portfolio, BOS International (Australia) Lt d. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks started Monday trade higher, with the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) up 0.8% at 5,206.40 after a strong finish for Wall Street at the end of last week. Resource shares got a lift from gains for commodities prices since the previous trading session, with strong advances for gold and copper and a more than 2% rise for New York-traded crude-oil futures. Among the leading gainers, Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) added 1.2%, Oil Search Ltd. (AU:OSH) (OISHF) climbed 1.3%, and gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) and Evolution Mining Ltd. (AU:EVN) (CAHPF) improved by 3.9% and 6.4%, respectively. The heavily weighted banking sector also enjoyed solid gains, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) up 1%, Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) trading 1.3% higher, and National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) rising 1.1% as the U.K.’s Sunday Times reported the lender is considering a £2 billion ($3.3 billion) float of its British operations, which the report said had dragged on NAB’s results in recent years.

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australia stocks rose early Thursday, with miners leading the way higher after a positive production report from Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) , while overall sentiment got a lift from U.S. gains overnight. The S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) improved by 0.6% to 5,274.30, with shares of Rio Tinto rising 2.2% after reporting record high iron-ore shipments for 2013 and a sold gain for copper output. Rio’s peers also advanced, with BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) up 1.7%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) ahead by 3.2%, and Oz Minerals Ltd. (AU:OZL) (OZMLF) adding 2.4%. Among the gold producers, Newcrest Mining Ltd. (AU:NCM) (NCMGF) surged 7.2% as J.P. Morgan raised its rating on the shares to overweight from neutral. Banks weren’t as lucky, however, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group (AU:ANZ) (ANEWF) down 0.3%, while Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBNF) and Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) lost 0.7% each as Citibank downgraded the trio t

  • [By MARKETWATCH]

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Australian stocks inched lower in early Friday trade, with the S&P/ASX 200 (AU:XJO) down 0.1% at 5,322.00, with weakness in miners outweighing mild strength in financials. Shares of BHP Billiton Ltd. (AU:BHP) (BHP) and Rio Tinto Ltd. (AU:RIO) (RIO) fell 1.4% apiece, while Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (AU:FMG) (FSUMF) lost 2.2% and gold miner Evolution Mining Ltd. (AU:EVN) (CAHPF) lost 0.8%, after copper prices fell to two-week lows and Chinese steel futures also lost ground, according to Reuters. The sector could react to Chinese trade data due out later in the day, as China remains a top market for Australian commodities. Stock in Alumina Ltd. (AU:AWC) (AWCMF) retreated 2.6% after its U.S. partner Alcoa Inc. (AA) posted a quarterly loss. On the upside, the big four banks all traded higher, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia (AU:CBA) (CBAUF) up 0.1%, National Australia Bank Ltd. (AU:NAB) (NAUBF) rising 0.2%, Westpac Banking Corp. (AU:WBC) (WEBN

Top Bank Companies For 2014: First Horizon National Corp (FHN)

First Horizon National Corporation (FHN), incorporated in 1968, is a bank holding company. The Company provides financial services through its subsidiary, First Tennessee Bank National Association (the Bank), and its subsidiaries. The Company’s two brands First Tennessee and FTN Financial provide customers with a range of products and services. First Tennessee provides retail and commercial banking services throughout Tennessee. FTN Financial (FTNF) is engaged in fixed income sales, trading, and strategies for institutional clients in the United States and abroad. FHN has four operating business segments: regional banking, capital markets, corporate, and non-strategic. As of December 31, 2011, the Bank had $16.4 billion in total deposits and $16 billion in total net loans. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s subsidiaries had over 200 business locations in 17 the United States states, Hong Kong, and Tokyo, excluding off-premises automated teller machines (ATMs). As o f December 31, 2011, the Bank had 183 branch locations in four states, which include 172 branches in metropolitan areas of Tennessee; two branches in northwestern Georgia; seven branches in northwestern Mississippi, and two branches in North Carolina. As of December 31, 2011, FTN Financial products and services were offered through 18 offices in total, including 16 offices in 14 states plus an office in each of Hong Kong and Tokyo.

The regional banking segment offers financial products and services, including traditional lending and deposit taking, to retail and commercial customers in Tennessee and surrounding markets. Regional banking provides investments, financial planning, trust services and asset management, credit card, cash management, and first lien mortgage originations within the Tennessee footprint. In addition, the regional banking segment includes correspondent banking, which provides credit, depository, and other banking related services to other financial institutions.

The capital markets se! gment consists of fixed income sales, trading, and strategies for institutional clients in the United States and abroad, as well as loan sales, portfolio advisory, and derivative sales. The corporate segment consists of gains on the extinguishment of debt, unallocated corporate expenses, expense on subordinated debt issuances and preferred stock, bank-owned life insurance, unallocated interest income associated with excess equity, net impact of raising incremental capital, revenue and expense associated with deferred compensation plans, funds management, low income housing investment activities, and charges related to restructuring, repositioning, and efficiency. The non-strategic segment consists of the wind-down national consumer lending activities, legacy mortgage banking elements, including servicing fees, and the associated ancillary revenues and expenses related to these businesses. Non-strategic also includes the wind-down trust preferred loan portfolio and exited bus inesses along with the associated restructuring, repositioning, and efficiency charges.

As of December 31, 2011, the Company provided services through its subsidiaries, which include general banking services for consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments; through FTN Financial fixed income sales and trading, underwriting of bank, loan sales, advisory services and derivative sales; discount brokerage and full-service brokerage; correspondent banking; transaction processing, such as nationwide check clearing services and remittance processing; trust, fiduciary, and agency services; credit card products; equipment finance; investment and financial advisory services; mutual fund sales as agent; retail insurance sales as agent, and mortgage banking services.

As of December 31, 2011, the commercial, financial, and industrial (C&I) portfolio was eight billion dollars, and is consisted of loans used for general business purposes, and co nsisted of relationship customers in Tennessee and certain n! eighborin! g states, which are managed within the regional bank. Products include working capital lines of credit, term loan financing of owner-occupied real estate and fixed assets, and trade credit enhancement through letters of credit. As of December 31, 2011, the unpaid principal balance (UPB) of trust preferred loans totaled $447.2 million with the UPB of other bank-related loans totaling approximately $161.8 million. The commercial real estate portfolio includes both financings for commercial construction and non-construction loans. This portfolio is segregated between income commercial real estate (CRE) loans which contain loans, lines, and letters of credit to commercial real estate developers for the construction and mini- permanent financing of income-producing real estate, and residential CRE loans. The residential CRE portfolio includes loans to residential builders and developers for the purpose of constructing single-family detached homes, condominiums, and town homes. As of December 31, 2011, the residential CRE portfolio was $.1 billion. As of December 31, 2011, the consumer real estate portfolio was $5.3 billion, and is composed of home equity lines and installment loans. As of December 31, 2011, the credit card and other portfolios were $.3 billion, and primarily include credit card receivables, automobile loans, and over-the-counter (OTC) construction loans and other consumer related credits.

FHN’s investment portfolio consists of debt securities, including government agency issued mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and government agency issued collateralized mortgage obligations (CMO). During the year ended December 31, 2011, Government agency issued MBS and CMO, and other agencies averaged $2.9 billion. During 2011, the United States treasury securities and municipal bonds averaged $79.5 million. During 2011, investments in equity securities averaged $222.3 million.

During 2011, short-term funds (certificates of deposit greater than $100,000, federal funds purchased (! FFP), sec! urities sold under agreements to repurchase, trading liabilities, and other short-term borrowings) averaged $3.6 billion. During 2011, other borrowings increased to $.3 billion. Term borrowings include senior and subordinated borrowings and advances with original maturities greater than one year. During 2011, average term borrowings averaged $2.6 billion.

The Company competes with Regions Bank, SunTrust Bank, Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Bank of America N.A., and Pinnacle National Bank.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Monica Gerson]

    First Horizon National (NYSE: FHN) is estimated to report its Q3 earnings at $0.18 per share on revenue of $307.14 million.

    Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings (NYSE: LH) is expected to report its Q3 earnings at $1.80 per share on revenue of $1.45 billion.

  • [By John Maxfield]

    Given that you clicked on this article, it seems safe to assume you either own stock in First Horizon National (NYSE: FHN  ) or are considering buying shares in the near future. If so, then you’ve come to the right place. The table below reveals the nine most critical numbers that investors need to know about First Horizon stock before deciding whether to buy, sell, or hold it.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    After the close of trading Friday, the S&P 500 will include Pfizer spinoff Zoetis (NYSE: ZTS  ) . The stock replaces First Horizon National (NYSE: FHN  ) , which is to find a new home on the S&P MidCap 400.

  • [By Sean Williams]

    Finally, regional bank First Horizon National (NYSE: FHN  ) , which has banking branches throughout Tennessee, added 4.2% just a day after paying shareholders a $0.05 quarterly dividend. Like Genuine Parts, there is no company specific news driving First Horizon higher, but the prospect for a higher net interest margin because of higher interest rates is certainly adding a boost to banks like First Horizon that rely on traditional loan and deposit growth. But as my Foolish colleague John Maxfield recently pointed out, you may want to keep your expectations for First Horizon tempered in the interim.

Top Bank Companies For 2014: Deutsche Bank AG (LBND)

Deutsche Bank AG is a global investment bank. The Company offers a variety of investment, financial and related products and services to private individuals, corporate entities and institutional clients around the world. The Company operates through such divisions as: Private and Business Clients, Asset and Wealth Management, Corporate Banking and Securities, Global Transaction Banking and Non-Core Operations Unit. Deutsche Bank AG is active domestically and in various countries, through the network of numerous branches. In February 2014, the Company and its related bodies corporate ceases to a share holder in the capital of the Company. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Donald van Deventer]

    Long-duration Treasury Exchange-Traded Funds: (TLH), , (IEF), (DTYL), (DLBL), (ILTB), (TENZ), (ITE), (TLO), (EDV), (VGIT), (VGLT), (TMF), (TYD), (LBND), (UBT), (UST), (TMV), (TYO), (DSTJ), (DSXJ), (SBND), (PST), (DTYS), (DLBS), (TBF), (TTT), (TYNS), (TYBS), (TBX).

Top Bank Companies For 2014: EverBank Financial Corp (EVER)

EverBank Financial Corp, incorporated in 2004, is an unitary savings and loan holding company. The Company provides a range of financial products and services directly to customers through multiple business channels. Its operating subsidiary is EverBank. As of December 31, 2011, EverBank had $ 10.3 billion deposits. EverBank offers a range of banking, lending and investing products to consumers and businesses. EverBank provides services to customers through Websites, over the phone, through the mail and at 14 Florida-based Financial Centers. The Company operates in two operating business segments: Banking and Wealth Management, and Mortgage Banking. Its Banking and Wealth Management segment includes earnings generated by and activities related to deposit and investment products and services and portfolio lending and leasing activities. Its Mortgage Banking segment consists of activities related to the origination and servicing of residential mortgage loans. In April 2012, the Company acquired MetLife Bank’s warehouse finance business. In October 2012, it acquired Business Property Lending, Inc.

Asset Origination and Fee Income Businesses

The Company has a range of asset origination and fee income businesses. The Company generates generate fee income from its mortgage banking activities, which consist of originating and servicing one-to-four family residential mortgage loans. It originates prime residential mortgage loans using a centrally controlled underwriting, processing and fulfillment infrastructure through financial intermediaries (including community banks, credit unions, mortgage bankers and brokers), consumer direct channels and financial centers. Its mortgage origination activities include originating, underwriting, closing, warehousing and selling to investors prime conforming and jumbo residential mortgage loans. From its mortgage origination activities, it earns fee-based income on fees charged to borr owers and other noninterest income from gains on sales from ! mortgage loans and servicing rights. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it originated six billion dollars of residential loans. It generates mortgage servicing business through the retention of servicing from its origination activities, acquisition of bulk mortgage servicing rights (MSR) and related servicing activities.

The Company’s mortgage servicing business includes collecting loan payments, remitting principal and interest payments to investors, managing escrow funds for the payment of mortgage-related expenses, such as taxes and insurance, responding to customer inquiries, counseling delinquent mortgagors, supervising foreclosures and liquidations of foreclosure properties and otherwise administering its mortgage loan servicing portfolio. It earns mortgage servicing fees and other ancillary fee-based income in connection with these activities. It services a portfolio by both product and investor, including agency and private pools of mortgages se cured by properties throughout the United States. As of December 31, 2011, its mortgage servicing business, which services mortgage loans for itself and others, managed loan servicing administrative functions for loans with unpaid principal balance (UPB) of $54.8 billion.

The Company originates originate equipment leases nationwide through relationships with approximately 280 equipment vendors with networks of creditworthy borrowers and provide asset-backed loan facilities to other leasing companies. Its equipment leases and loans finance essential-use health care, office product, technology and other equipment. Its commercial financings range from approximately $25,000 to $1.0 million per transaction, with typical lease terms ranging from 36 to 60 months. Its commercial finance activities provide it with access to approximately 25,000 small business customers nationwide, which creates opportunities to cross-sell its deposit, lending and wealth management produc ts. It focuses to offer warehouse loans, which are short-ter! m revolvi! ng facilities, primarily securitized by agency and government collateral. It provides financial advisory, planning, brokerage, trust and other wealth management services to its mass-affluent and high-net-worth customers through its registered broker dealer and recently-formed registered investment advisor subsidiaries.

Interest-Earning Asset Portfolio

As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s interest-earning assets were $11.7 billion. As of December 31, 2011, its loan and lease held for investment portfolio was $6.5 billion. As of December 31, 2011, the carrying values of its interest-earning assets are: residential, government-insured (residential), securities, commercial and commercial real estate, Bank of Florida (covered), lease financing receivables, and other.

Residential includes primarily prime loans originated and retained from its mortgage banking activities, acquired from third parties or held for sale to other investors. go vernment-insured (residential) includes Government National Mortgage Association (GNMA) pool buyouts with government insurance, sourced from its mortgage banking segment and third-party sources. Securities include non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO) purchased at significant discounts. This portfolio includes protection against credit losses from purchase discounts, subordination in the securities structures and borrower equity. Commercial and commercial real estate includes a range of commercial loans, including owner-occupied commercial real estate, commercial investment property and small business commercial loans. As of December 31, 2011, Bank of Florida (Covered) includes commercial, multi-family and commercial real estate loans with $71.3 million of purchase discounts. Lease financing receivables include covered lease financing receivables. As of December 31, 2011, the lease portfolio had $64.7 million of total discounts. Other includes home equity loans and lines ! of credit! , consumer and credit card loans and other investments.

Deposit Generation

As of December 31, 2011, the Company had approximately $10.3 billion in deposits. Its market-based deposit products, consisting of its WorldCurrency, MarketSafe and EverBank Metals Select products, provide investment capabilities for customers seeking portfolio diversification with respect to foreign currencies, commodities and other indices. Its financial portal includes online bill-pay, account aggregation, direct deposit, single sign-on for all customer accounts and other features. Its Website and mobile device applications provide information on its product offerings, financial tools and calculators, newsletters, financial reporting services and other applications for customers to interact with it and manages all of their EverBank accounts on a single integrated platform. Its new mobile applications allow customers using iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry devices to vie w account balances, conduct real time balance transfers between EverBank accounts, administer billpay, review account activity detail and remotely deposit checks.

The Company generates deposit customer relationships through its consumer direct, financial center and financial intermediary distribution channels. Its consumer direct channel includes Internet, e-mail, telephone and mobile device access to product and customer support offerings. Its direct distribution with a network of 14 financial centers in Florida metropolitan areas, include Jacksonville, Naples, Ft. Myers, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Tampa Bay and Clearwater. As of December 31, 2011, its financial centers had average deposits of $130.5 million, which is approximately double the industry average. In addition, it generates noninterest-bearing escrow deposits from its mortgage servicing business.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Nicole Seghetti]

    3. Build your savings account
    Take this opportunity to bolster your savings such that you have at least three months’ worth of living expenses socked away. Money market or savings accounts will provide you with the best rates. For example, American Express’ (NYSE: AXP  ) high-yield savings account pays 0.85%, and Capital One Financial’s (NYSE: COF  ) Capital One 360 offers a 0.75% APY. Both accounts boast no minimum balances and no fees. Meanwhile, EverBank Financial (NYSE: EVER  ) pays an attractive 1.01% money market rate but requires a $1,500 minimum opening balance.  

Top Bank Companies For 2014: Customers Bancorp Inc (CUBI)

Customers Bancorp, Inc. (Customers Bancorp), incorporated in April 2010, through its wholly owned subsidiary Customers Bank (the Bank), provides financial products and services to small businesses, not-for-profits and consumers through its fourteen branches in Southeastern Pennsylvania (Bucks, Berks, Chester and Delaware Counties), Rye, New York (Westchester County) and Hamilton, New Jersey (Mercer County). Customers Bank also provides liquidity to the mortgage market worldwide through the operation of its mortgage warehouse business. As of December 31, 2011, Customers Bancorp had total assets of $2.08 billion, including net loans (including held for sale loans) of $1.50 billion, total deposits of $1.58 billion. The Company offers a range of banking products and financial services to its commercial and consumer customers in Suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Central New Jersey and Southeastern New York. It offers a range of lending products to cater to its customers’ n eeds, including small business loans, mortgage warehouse loans, multi-family and commercial real estate loans, residential mortgage loans and consumer loans. It also offers traditional depository products, including commercial and consumer checking accounts, non-interest-bearing demand accounts, money market deposit accounts, savings accounts and time deposit accounts and cash management services. On September 17, 2011, Customers Bank became a wholly owned subsidiary of Customers Bancorp. On September 17, 2011, Customers Bancorp acquired Berkshire Bancorp, Inc. and its subsidiary Berkshire Bank. In May 2013, Customers Bancorp Inc merged with CMS Bancorp Inc.

Lending Activities

The Company focuses its lending efforts to the lending areas, such as commercial lending, which includes business, small business and multi-family and commercial real estate lending; specialty Lending, which include warehouse lending, and consumer lending, which include local market mortgage lending and home equity lending. It also pr! ovide warehouse financing worldwide and multi-family lending in the Mid-Atlantic States.

The Bank’s commercial lending is segmented into three groups, which include multi-family and commercial real estate, business banking and small business banking. The small business banking platform originates loans, including small business administration loans, through the branch network sales force and a team of dedicated small business relationship managers. During the year ended December 31, 2011, it originated and closed $121.5 million of multi-family loans commitments. As of December 31, 2011, it had $536.9 million in commercial loans outstanding, comprising approximately 35.3% of its total loan portfolio (which includes loans held for sale). During 2011, it originated and closed $167.7 million of commercial loans and commitments. As of December 31, 2011, loans in its warehouse lending portfolio, as well as loans held for sale totaled $794.3 million outstanding, comp rising approximately 52.3% of its total loan portfolio (which includes loans held for sale). During the year ended December 31, 2011, it funded $7.7 billion of mortgage loans under warehouse facilities.

The Company offers a range of deposit products to its customers, including checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts and other deposit accounts, including fixed-rate, fixed-maturity retail time deposits ranging in terms from 30 days to five years, individual retirement accounts, and non-retail time deposits consisting of jumbo certificates greater than or equal to $100,000. As of December 31, 2011, its deposit portfolio was consisted of 54.9% of core deposits. Its financial products include Internet banking, wire transfers, electronic bill payment, lock box services, remote deposit capture services, courier services, merchant processing services, cash vault, controlled disbursements, positive pay and cash management services (including account re conciliation, collections and sweep accounts).

! Sources o! f Fund

The Company offers a range of deposit accounts, including checking, savings, money market and time deposits. Deposits are obtained primarily from its service area. As of December 31, 2011, the total deposits grew to $1.58 billion.

Investment Activities

The Company’s investment securities portfolio consists of United States Treasury, government agency and mortgage-backed securities (guaranteed by an agency of the United States government and non-agency guaranteed), municipal securities, domestic corporate debt, and asset-backed securities. In addition to generating revenue, it maintains the investment portfolio to manage interest rate risk, provide liquidity, provide collateral for other borrowings and diversify the credit risk of earning assets. As of December 31, 2011, $79.1 million of its investment securities were classified as available for sale (AFS). As of December 31, 2011, the fair value of its investment securities por tfolio was approximately $409.9 million. As of December 31, 2011, it held $319.5 million of investment securities that were classified as held to maturity (HTM).

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Wyomissing, Pa.-based Customers Bancorp (NASDAQ: CUBI  ) has a new CFO.

    On Tuesday, Customers Bancorp announced that Interim Chief Financial Officer James D. Hogan intends to retire from the bank on Aug. 13. Replacing Hogan will be Robert E. Wahlman, a new hire from Doral Financial, who will join Customers initially in the post of executive vice president on Aug. 5, and then be promoted to permanent CFO on the 13th.

Top Bank Companies For 2014: Unione di Banche Italiane ScpA (BPD)

Unione di Banche Italiane Scpa is an Italy-based holding company engaged in the governance, control, coordination and support of Unione di Banche Italiane Group. The Company’s activities are divided into three business segments. The Banking sector comprises of nine network banks of the Group, including IW Bank SpA, Banque de Depots et de Gestione SA and UBI International SA. The Non-banking financial sector includes Centrobanca SpA, Ubi Leasing SpA, Ubi Factor SpA, Ubi Pramerica SGR SpA, Banca 24-7 SpA, Silf SpA, Prestitalia SpA, Ubi Fiduciaria SpA and UBI Gestioni Fiduciarie SIM SpA. The Corporate Centre segment comprises UBI Banca Scpa and Ubi Sistemi e Servizi Scpa, among others. The Company is engaged in the corporate banking, consumer credit, asset management, factoring, leasing, life and non-life bancassurance sectors, among others. On May 6, 2013, it completed merger of Centrobanca Banca di Credito Finanziario e Mobiliare SpA into the Company. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By April Yee]

    In its annual outlook, released this month, Opec said demand for its crude would dip to between 28 million and 29.2 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2018, from 30.3 million bpd today.

  • [By Robert Rapier]

    US oil production has risen from 5 million barrels per day (BPD) in 2008 to 7.3 million BPD in the most recent quarter. The US is now the fastest-growing oil producing region in the world.

Top Bank Companies For 2014: China Banking Corp (CHIB)

China Banking Corporation (CHIB) is a Philippines-based company engaged in the business as the privately owned local commercial bank in the Philippines. The Bank caters to the Chinese-Filipino commercial sector, retail and consumer segments. The Bank’s market consists of the corporate, commercial, middle and retail markets. Its businesses include deposit taking, corporate and middle market lending, retail loans including mortgage and auto loans, investment banking, insurance products through its subsidiaries, treasury and foreign exchange trading, trust and investment management, wealth management, cash management, Internet banking and mobile banking services, inward remittances through tie-ups with remittance companies and exchange houses in the Middle East, Asia and United States cities. Effective January 17, 2014 China Banking Corp acquired a 84.77% interest in Planters Development Bank. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By pamatlarge]

    Investors looking to short a particular sector can choose from several Global X long ETFs. The Global X China Consumer ETF (CHIQ) concentrates its investments in consumer cyclical goods and consumer defense goods. The Global X China Energy ETF (CHIE) primarily holds stocks in coal, oil and utility companies. The Global X China Financials ETF (CHIX) only invests in financial services companies and real estate companies. The Global X China Industrials ETF (CHII) holds stocks in industrial companies and basic materials companies. The Global X China Materials ETF (CHIM) invests in basic materials stocks. The Global X China Technology ETF (CHIB) holds technology stocks as the core of its investments. All of these ETFs are particularly sensitive to sector downturns and general economic contractions.

Top Bank Companies For 2014: Mediobanca Banca di Credito Finanziario SpA (MB)

Mediobanca Banca di Credito Finanziario SpA is an Italy-based bank. Together with its subsidiaries, the Company’s activities are divided into three main segments: Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB), Principal Investing (PI) and Retail and Private Banking (RPB). In the CIB segment, the Bank is engaged in the investment banking activities, leasing services and trading investments. The PI segment comprises the Bank’s shareholdings in companies involved in the insurance sector, multimedia publishing activities and telecommunication services, as well as stakes acquired as part of merchant banking activity and investments in private equity funds. The RPB consists of financial products and services provided to retail customers, including consumer credit products, mortgages, deposit accounts, private banking and fiduciary activities. In September 2013, the Company launched the sale of its investment in Telco. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Bloomberg]

    Mattel (MAT), the world’s largest toymaker, agreed to buy Mega Brands (MB) for $460 million, acquiring the biggest challenger to Lego A/S in the construction-toy market. Mattel is offering C$17.75 ($16) a share, according to a statement today, a 36 percent premium over yesterday’s closing price. The board of Montreal-based Mega Brands unanimously approved the transaction, and investors holding 39 percent of the stock, including Chief Executive Officer Marc Bertrand and Fairfax Financial Holdings (FFH), agreed to the deal. The purchase of Mega Brands, the world’s second-largest maker of snap-together blocks, will fill a product hole for Mattel. It doesn’t have its own construction line, locking it out of a $4 billion market in the U.S. and Europe. The category also is a bright spot in a toy industry that has seen growth stall in the U.S. Mattel considered starting its own construction line, then opted instead to buy Mega Brands because it would be faster and less risky, Mattel CEO Bryan G. Stockton said on a call with reporters. Mattel got its first taste of construction in 2012 when it debuted blocks for its Barbie brand through a licensing deal with Mega Brands. Mattel realized that replicating this kind of expertise would take years, Stockton said. ‘About Growth’ “This acquisition is all about growth,” Stockton said. “We see an opportunity to expand our brands in this category across boys, girls and preschool.” Mattel shares rose 0.8 percent to $37.44 at 10:34 a.m. in New York. They had declined 9 percent over the past year through yesterday. Shares of Montreal-based Mega Brands surged 36 percent to C$17.73 today in Toronto. Mattel is coming off a lackluster holiday season, with sales sinking 6.3 percent — the biggest quarterly drop since 2009. The El Segundo, California-based toymaker has looked to acquisitions to boost sales in the past. In February of 2012, it paid $680 million to buy HIT Entertainment, owner of Thomas the Tank Engine. It also acq

Top Bank Companies For 2014: Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS (GARAN)

Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS (the Bank) is a Turkey-based financial services company. The Bank provides retail, commercial, corporate and small and medium size enterprises (SME) banking, leasing, insurance, asset management and factoring services. Other operation heading under the banking segment include mainly treasury and investment banking activities as well as unallocated income and expense items. It has a network of 822 domestic branches, seven foreign branches, three representative offices abroad and 104 offices. In addition to its branches, the Bank has 100% ownership in three banks each of which is located in Amsterdam, Bucharest and Moscow. The Bank and its affiliates operate principally in Turkey, but also have operations in the Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Malta, Luxembourg and Germany. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Julia Leite]

    The Borsa Istanbul Stock Exchange National 100 Index climbed from a six-month low. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he was ready to listen to the demands of anti-government protesters. The lira strengthened for the first time in three days and bonds gained. Lenders Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS (GARAN) and Akbank T.A.S. added at least 3.2 percent.

  • [By Halia Pavliva]

    Turkiye Garanti (GARAN) Bankasi AS, the largest Turkish lender by market value, led gains on the Borsa Istanbul National 100 Index, which rose 1.5 percent. Garanti climbed 1.3 percent after slumping 4.1 percent to the lowest level since Sept. 13 yesterday. The government is selling $1.25 billion of five-year Islamic bonds today, according to a person with direct knowledge of the transaction, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

  • [By Ian Sayson]

    Russia’s Micex Index declined, trimming its weekly gain to 2.5 percent. OAO Mechel, the nation’s biggest producer of coal for steelmakers, slumped 1.7 percent. The Borsa Istanbul National 100 Index sank 2 percent as Turkiye Garanti Bankasi AS (GARAN) led losses in lenders. Benchmark gauges in the Czech Republic and Hungary declined at least 1.2 percent.

Top Bank Companies For 2014: Greenhill & Co Inc (GHL)

Greenhill & Co., Inc. (Greenhill), incorporated on March 10, 2004, is an independent investment bank focused on providing financial advice on mergers, acquisitions, restructurings, financings and capital raising to corporations, partnerships, institutions and governments. The Company acts for clients located throughout the world from its offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Japan, Australia and Sweden. The Company provides advisory services primarily in connection with mergers and acquisitions, financings, restructurings, and capital raisings. On merger and acquisition engagements, it provide a broad range of advice to global clients in relation to domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, and similar corporate finance matters and are generally involved at each stage of these transactions, from initial structuring to final execution. It advises client’s matters, including acquisitions, divestitures, defensive tactics, special committee pr ojects and other important corporate events. It also provides advice on valuation, tactics, industry dynamics, structuring alternatives, timing and pricing of transactions, and financing alternatives.

In the Company’s financing advisory and restructuring practice, the Company advise debtors, creditors, governments, other stakeholders and companies experiencing financial distress as well as potential acquirers of distressed companies and assets. It provides advice on valuation, restructuring alternatives, capital structures, financing alternatives, and sales or recapitalizations. The Company also assists those clients who seek court-assisted reorganizations by developing and seeking approval for plans of reorganization as well as the implementation of such plans. In its private capital and real estate capital advisory business the Company assists fund managers and sponsors in raising capital for new funds and provide related advisory services to private equity and real estate funds and other organizations globally. It ! also advises on secondary transactions.

The Company competes with America Corporation, Barclays Bank PLC, Citigroup Inc., Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank AG, Goldman Sachs Group, Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, UBS A.G., Evercore Partners Inc., Jefferies Group, Inc., Lazard Ltd., Credit Suisse and Park Hill.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Mark Hulbert]

    The stocks are C.H. Robinson Worldwide (CHRW)  , a freight-transportation company; chip maker Cirrus Logic (CRUS)  ; independent oil company Forest Oil (FST)  ; investment bank Greenhill & Co. (GHL)  ; Intrepid Potash (IPI)  , a fertilizer company; retailer J.C. Penney (JCP)  ; Quest Diagnostics (DGX)  , a medical diagnostic company; Strayer Education (STRA)  , a for-profit college; Tower Group International (TWGP)  , an insurance company; and Windstream Holdings (WIN)  , a rural telecommunications firm.

  • [By Matt Koppenheffer and David Hanson]

    An article in Financial Times came out suggesting that smaller investment banks, such as Greenhill (NYSE: GHL  ) or Lazard (NYSE: LAZ  ) , might be workplaces that offer more options and flexibility for those pursuing a banking career. Will we start to see the best talent move away from Wall Street’s biggest banks to find the true opportunities? In the video, Matt tells us what effect this could have on big banking as a whole.