Home prices in 20 major U.S. cities rose 9.3% in the 12-month period ending in February, according to the widely followed S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. That marked the biggest annual gain since May 2006. Prices are being driven up by dwindling inventories, falling unemployment, low interest rates and the fact that the proportion of houses for sale that are foreclosures is declining, analysts said.
Citigroup plans to purchase a portion of Societe Generale's shipping-loan portfolio for an undisclosed amount. The sale is seen as a way for the French bank to increase capital and concentrate on core services.
More banks are pairing up with third-party vendors to offer discounts to cardholders based on their spending patterns. U.S. Bancorp is the latest to announce such a program, which is a potential source of revenue. "It gives another reason for them to want to use their U.S. Bank check card, and that gets us to be more top of wallet," said Mike Shepard, senior vice president of consumer credit and debit products.
If Basel III capital rules for banks had been implemented in June, the biggest global banks would have needed $639.5 billion in additional core reserves. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision surveyed 212 banks about their preparedness for Basel III, which is scheduled to be phased in during the next several years. The lenders also would have needed $2.31 trillion in assets that are easy to sell to meet liquidity requirements.
The default rate for commercial mortgage-backed securities in the U.S. reached a high of 9.3% in January, according to research firm Trepp. The still-climbing rate may surprise some as more banks are re-entering the CMBS market. "I think people at this point would have expected it to level off a little bit more," says Manus Clancy, managing director of Trepp.