Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Indo's advice to B of I stockholders: Put more money in!

"Ordinary shareholders in Bank of Ireland will be happy to inject €1.5bn in fresh capital, predicts Paddy Stronge"

In last Sunday's Independent there was a wonderfully reassuring piece from banker Paddy Stronge, in which he explains that if you're one of the lucky investors in Bank of Ireland who've seen 90% of their value erased all will end up well if you put more money in. Seriously!

Apparently B of I can't sell its bad loans to Nama at a discount from what the bank thinks they are worth:
It would be unwise to rely on Peter Bacon to determine the appropriate valuations as he has not reviewed the individual loans to be transferred.

The bank's own detailed assessments, independently confirmed, are likely to be much more accurate.

However, if Nama were to somehow insist on unreasonable write downs of the loans, the bank's directors would be in an untenable position. They have a fiduciary duty to look after the interests of their shareholders.

Which means that Nama is just going to have to buy the loans at B of I's valuation, because otherwise B of I will, will, will .. do something. I wonder if they'll come with the rose-tinted crystal ball that was used to value them?

At this point, the bank will be in a strong position to raise new capital from its existing shareholders. The bank will need to raise €1.5bn from the existing shareholders before December 31, 2009, to ensure that the Government cannot exercise its option, under the recapitalisation scheme, to purchase 10 per cent of the ordinary shares of the bank at 20c a share.

The take-up by the Government of Bank of Ireland shares at such a low price would be a disastrous permanent dilution to be borne by the ordinary shareholders. Many shareholders have already lost more than 90 per cent of the monies they have invested in Bank of Ireland and there would be little chance of significant recovery in the share price if the Government were to exercise this option.

Leading to the logical conclusion that:

At that point, though it may seem difficult for shareholders who have already lost thousands, the final endgame is for them to commit further funds to the bank, thereby avoiding nationalisation and helping the share price to make solid gains in the years ahead.

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