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  • maine1964 maine1964 Oct 6, 2013 7:15 AM Flag

    Analysts draw up their bank merger dance cards amid rising speculation

    Bank analysts are pondering who might be buying rivals and who might be acquired as the industry's long-running consolidation gains steam.

    Rising regulation and fewer growth opportunities have parties on both sides of the negotiating table deciding that now might be the time to join forces.

    Unlike yesteryear, the nation's largest banks are likely to sit this one out, since they're now so large that regulators severely limit their ability to go shopping, at least for other banks

    "One of the themes that came out of our 17th annual financial institutions conference was merger and acquisition activity is expected to pick-up," RBC analyst Gerard Cassidy told clients.

    His list of banks that might be acquired includes names familiar to those of us in the Bay Area.

    San Francisco-based First Republic Bank has an "enviable franchise banking high-net-worth individuals in attractive markets," Cassidy says. Plus, "management has a track record of doing well for shareholders, and senior executives are large owners themselves."

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