Financial Biz Cheat Sheet: Moody’s Downgrades Aflac, Greek Banks; BofA Sells $800M Stake in Pizza Hut Franchise
Moody’s lowered its rating of Aflac (NYSE:AFL) one notch to A3, citing concerns over the insurer’s investment risk appetite and business diversification, though removing the likelihood of any further cuts. Moody’s also further downgraded Greek banks, saying it “believes that private creditors may incur substantial economic losses on their Greek government bond holdings beyond the terms of the current debt exchange.” National Bank of Greece (NYSE:NBG) was down nearly 5% at mid-day.
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Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) has denied rumors that South Korea’s sovereign wealth fund may increase its stake in the bank. A Wall Street Journal report had said the fund would meet with advisers next week to discuss the move. Bank of America has also agreed to sell $880 in commercial real estate loans, and is negotiating to sell its stake in in the biggest Pizza Hut (NPCI) franchise in the U.S. for roughly $800 million.
The CDS spread on Bank of America’s (NYSE:BAC) debt rose 9% Thursday, reaching a record high of 400 bp. Many other major U.S. banks saw their CDS spreads widen. Morgan Stanley’s (NYSE:MS) CDS spread increased 10.6% to 397.5 bp, Goldman Sachs’ (NYSE:GS) increased 9.4% to 292 bp, and Citigroup’s (NYSE:C) increased 9.6% to 285 bp.
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Radian Group (NYSE:RDN) is re-aligning its operational structure in an effort to compete more effectively. The company will focus resources on sales and other core functions while reducing mortgage market volume by aligning support services. The re-alignment will include a 7% reduction in Radian’s workforce.