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European bank shares have taken a new plunge


European bank shares have taken a new plunge


It followed the collapse of Lehman brothers – with London shares seemingly baring the brunt of the fall. The impact has depended on just how much reliance each bank has on business with the US along with the extent of their mortgage provision.

HBOS, Britain’s biggest home lender continued to be dogged by concern it faces more asset writedowns. The Swiss bank UBS tapped shareholders for extra capital as it fell French and Dutch Belgium bank values slipped but the fall was played down as finance chiefs said they had manageable risk from Lehmans.

Nervousness is obviously the key word. One analyst told us that there was orderly panic in the markets. Clearly there is an appetite to sell but when there is an appetite to sell there is a two way trade, somebody has got to be there to buy, and fundamental fund managers are beginning to think that it is not far off the time to be taking some bets on good companies.”

Barclays which could be said to have played a part in the collapse of Lehmans by pulling out of take over talks says its now in a position to buy some of the failed bank’s assets – but even that news couldn’t prevent a share fall of 2 point 7 percent. On the rare side Spains Santandare and Bilbao Vizcaya ended the day in positive territory.

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