NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -05/10/12)- After a surprising start to the year European financial stocks have fallen sharply. Recent political election results in Greece and France have threatened Europe's plan for economic recovery. The iShares MSCI Europe Financials Sector Index Fund (EUFN) -- which is designed to measure the combined equity market performance of the financial sector of developed market countries in Europe -- has dropped over 13 percent in the last three months. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Foreign Banking Industry and provides equity research on Lloyds Banking Group PLC (LYG) and Bank of Ireland (IRE)
With concerns that Europe's problems could intensify, the nation's largest banks have been hoarding their cash at central banks. According to analysis done by the Wall Street Journal, Europe's largest banks have stored roughly $1.2 trillion in cash at central banks around the world, a 66 percent increase from the end of 2010. Banks have decided to store their money in central banks to allow them easy access to funds just in case they are faced with emergency situations.
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Lloyds Banking Group plc provides various banking and financial services to personal and corporate customers primarily in the United Kingdom. The company posted a full-year net loss of $4.41 billion as it pushed back a key earnings target, citing a gloomy U.K. macroeconomic outlook and increased regulatory uncertainty. HSBC has recently agreed to acquire Lloyds' operations in the United Arab Emirates.
The Governor and Company of the Bank of Ireland provides banking and other financial services to small and medium-sized commercial and industrial companies in Ireland and internationally. The Bank of Ireland believes it is in a better position this year. By the end of December 2011, it had fully exited the costly emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) offered by Ireland's central bank and reduced its dependency on European Central Bank funding to 23 billion euros from 33 billion a year earlier.
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