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雷曼兄弟股票暴跌 公司前景陡增压力

发布者: chrislau2001 | 发布时间: 2008-9-11 09:13| 查看数: 2920| 评论数: 2|



二,雷曼兄弟控股公司(Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.)与一家韩国银行之间的投资交易希望破灭,令公司前景陡增压力,该公司股票也随之暴跌45%。这是雷曼兄弟158年公司历史中的最大单日跌幅。

这标志着雷曼兄弟成为这场数十年来最严重的金融系统危机中的又一受害者,在此之前两天,美国政府宣布计划接管两大抵押贷款巨头房利美(Fannie Mae)和房地美(Freddie Mac)。美国股市周二下挫,投资者因上周末宣布的“两房”救助计划而获得的收益也因此损失殆尽。

在雷曼兄弟试图筹集新资金弥补资产价值的大幅下滑之际,其股票的下跌凸显出市场上的紧张情绪挥之不去。雷曼兄弟因大量涉足房地产投资而遭遇困境,该公司股票数月来一直面临沉重抛压,在周二大幅下跌前,该股今年以来已累计下跌了约80%。由于雷曼兄弟为消化预计的损失已经花了数月时间拟定筹资计划,投资者对此深为不满。



                               
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周二,信用评级机构标准普尔公司(Standard & Poor's)和惠誉国际评级(Fitch Ratings Inc.)将其对雷曼兄弟的评级置于下调评级审查状态。标普称,基于前些天该公司股价的大幅下跌,其筹资能力充满了不确定性。如果评级下调,雷曼兄弟可能会被要求其在衍生品合约等协议上向交易伙伴提供价值数十亿美元的抵押品。

为了安抚投资者,雷曼兄弟周二晚间表示将提供对其第三季度收益的预览,并将在周三股市开盘前宣布重要战略举措。

据知情人士透露,雷曼兄弟计划宣布正在与理财公司贝莱德(BlackRock Inc.)就联合出售一揽子房地产资产(主要为英国住房资产)进行谈判。除此之外,该公司还预计将宣布另外一项计划,分拆出去一些商业房地产资产,成立一家新公司,雷曼兄弟内部称之为SpinCo。这些知情人士说,剔除了陷入困境的房地产资产之后的剩余业务被称为CleanCo。

雷曼兄弟一直在寻找投资者收购其部分投资管理业务,其中包括盈利能力较强的资产管理公司Neuberger Berman。目前有三家私人资本运营公司在进行竞购,截至日期为周五晚。据知情人士透露,出售这部分业务大概能带来约50亿美元的收入。

雷曼兄弟周二与各合约方交易正常。其竞争对手高盛集团(Goldman Sachs Group Inc.)称还在和该公司进行交易。

雷曼兄弟是3月份贝尔斯登(Bear Stearns Cos.)几近崩溃之后得以维继的四大独立金融公司之一。该公司拒绝发表评论。

雷曼兄弟的处境与贝尔斯登明显不同,后者在陷入流动性危机后于今年早些时候被接管。与贝尔斯登不同的是,雷曼兄弟可以利用美国联邦储备委员会(Fed)新的信贷措施,在市场短期融资不利的情况下获得融资;除此之外,还可以用流动性不良的资产交换国债等更为安全的证券。

Fed的措施使几个月前的那种投资银行一夜间倒闭的现象不太可能重演。当初贝尔斯登面临危机之际,Fed还没有出台对交易商的这类措施。Fed没有透露哪些机构正在使用新措施。

韩国产业银行(Korea Development Bank)此前与雷曼兄弟就注资事宜进行了谈判,不过该银行周二称已经关闭了达成交易的大门,雷曼兄弟的股价随之暴跌。据知情人士透露,两家公司8月初就中止了谈判,不过关于交易仍可能完成的传言持续不散,雷曼兄弟的股价也得以继续获得支撑。

雷曼兄弟股价的暴跌拖累了整个股市,此前股市由于美国政府的“两房”救助计划而在周一大幅上扬。金融类股下挫了6%以上,其中雷曼兄弟的竞争对手美林(Merrill Lynch)跌了10%,Wachovia跌了14%。Wachovia也在抵押贷款问题的重压下疲于奔命。

道琼斯工业股票平均价格指数周二收盘下跌280点,几乎将周一上涨的289点全部抵消。雷曼兄弟的股票周二收于每股7.79美元,跌至10年来的最低水平。

雷曼兄弟股票的暴跌显示出投资者对该公司的担忧。雷曼兄弟是家专注于债券的公司,但是近年来大举进军商业房地产市场并大规模举债,2004-2007年间实现的利润也因此常常创下纪录。

随着这些投资的价值日渐明了,雷曼兄弟兄弟急忙着手筹措资金以填补投资缩水造成的亏损。该公司截至周二的市值为60亿美元,与今年伊始时的372亿有了天壤之别。仅过去两天该公司市值就缩水了40亿美元。

标普分析师坦亚·阿扎奇斯(Tanya Azarchs)称,这是一个先有鸡还是先有蛋的问题。当雷曼兄弟看上去筹资有困难时,该公司股票便会下跌。而当该公司股价下跌时,它发售新股筹集资金的难度就会更大。阿扎奇斯说,不管这一传言是真是假,某种程度上说局面确实正向传言所指的方向发展。

市场预计,由于在住宅和商业按揭证券上的投资持续亏损,雷曼兄弟将被迫在今年已经筹集的120亿美元之外寻求更多资金。该公司的资本金(即股东权益)约为320亿美元,这是一个缓冲器,可以在该公司约6,400亿美元的资产出现损失时保护其债权人的利益。

分析师们预计,雷曼兄弟最多将损失46亿美元,而其房地产投资组合可能将面临数十亿美元的资产冲减。

雷曼兄弟所发行债券的价格周二也出现了下跌,这使其某些债券的收益率比同期美国国债高了八个百分点以上。Gimme Credit的分析师凯瑟琳·山利(Kathleen Shanley)周二在研究报告中说,投资者显然担心,Fed和美国财政部出手救援金融机构的兴趣不是无止境的。

Phoenix Partners Group提供的数据显示,在信用违约掉期市场上,5年内承担雷曼兄弟1,000万美元信用违约风险的费用已经从周一的32.5万美元跃升至周二下午的52万美元。交易员们在信用违约掉期市场上买卖起债务违约保险作用的私人合约。这一费用的提高表明,投资者认为雷曼兄弟拖欠其债务的风险提高了。

今年3月,承担雷曼兄弟信用违约风险的费用曾一度升至58万美元。而在贝尔斯登被摩根大通(J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.)接手之前,承担前者信用违约风险的费用已达到了82万美元之多。

雷曼兄弟优先股的价格也创出了新低,这有可能损害该公司发行更多这类股票-债券混合型证券以进一步筹集资金的能力。雷曼J系列优先股的价格周二跌了24%以上,降至9.15美元,而该股的发行价约为25美元。雷曼兄弟为这一优先股每年按7.95%的固定息率支付股息。据美国优先股数据提供商PreferredsOnline称,按该优先股的价格核算其收益率目前为16.6%。这意味着,要吸引外部投资者购买其新发行的优先股,雷曼兄弟必须提供16%以上的高额收益率。

标准普尔目前正考虑是否下调其给予雷曼兄弟的A级信用评级。该公司表示,虽然它最终可能会维持这一信用评级,但也不排除将该评级下调一档以上的可能性。雷曼兄弟的短期信用评级也有可能被下调,这可能会影响该公司在短期债券市场和隔夜回购协议市场筹措现金的能力。

令雷曼兄弟雪上加霜的是,该公司周二又宣布裁员1,000至1,500人。就在那些被裁员工收拾东西走人的同时,其同事们仍在盯着电脑屏幕看雷曼兄弟不断下跌的股价。在该公司位于曼哈顿中城的总部大门外,一位拒绝透露姓名的员工说,市场像是在和雷曼兄弟作对。

在刚刚过去的这个周末,美国政府救援“两房”的消息让雷曼兄弟的管理人士兴奋不已。他们认为这一救援计划将安抚市场人心,对备受打击的金融行业尤其有安定作用。

但投资者们似乎却并不看好雷曼兄弟,该公司几个月来一直不愿提供将如何筹措新资金的细节。由于此前一直未能宣布解困方案,雷曼兄弟已经把自己逼入了 角。

理论上说,市值大幅下跌应该增加雷曼兄弟作为被收购目标的吸引力。但更有可能出现的情况是雷曼兄弟得以继续保持独立地位,用从Fed贴现窗借来的钱履行还款义务。

Ladenburg Thalmann & Co.的理查德·鲍夫(Richard Bove)在雷曼兄弟的股价周二出现暴跌前表示,显然该公司并不认为自己存在严重的资不抵债问题,它断然拒绝以自己认为的跳楼价出售其重要资产,而买家们则似乎认为雷曼兄弟高估了其资产的价值,因此拒绝出面竞购。

Susanne Craig / Randall Smith / Serena Ng / Matthew Karnitschnig

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chrislau2001 发表于 2008-9-11 09:14:50

Lehman Faces Mounting Pressures

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. came under mounting pressure Tuesday after hopes faded for an investment deal with a Korean bank, helping to trigger a 45% fall in the firm's shares. It was the largest daily drop in the firm's 158-year history.

Lehman's troubles mark the latest installment in the worst financial-system crunch in decades, coming just two days after the U.S. government announced its plan to take over the two giants of the mortgage business. U.S. stocks fell Tuesday, giving back gains that had greeted the weekend bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The drop in Lehman shares highlights the continuing nervousness in markets as the company attempts to raise fresh capital to offset sharp declines in the value of its assets. Shares of Lehman, which is heavily exposed to troubled real-estate investments, have been under pressure for months and were down about 80% this year before today's drop. Investors have been frustrated as Lehman has taken months to pull together a plan to raise capital to absorb expected losses.

On Tuesday, credit-rating services Standard & Poor's and Fitch Ratings placed their ratings on Lehman on review for downgrades. S&P cited uncertainty about the firm's ability to raise capital, 'based on the precipitous decline in its share price in previous days.' If downgraded, Lehman may be required to post billions of dollars in collateral to its trading partners on derivative contracts and other agreements.

In an attempt to assuage investors, Lehman said late Tuesday it will offer a preview of its third-quarter earnings and announce 'key strategic initiatives' before markets open Wednesday.

The people familiar with the firm said Lehman plans to announce it is in talks with money manager BlackRock Inc. to sell a package of primarily British residential real-estate assets. Also, Lehman is expected to announce a separate plan to spin off some commercial real-estate assets into a new company, referred to internally at Lehman as SpinCo. The remaining portion of the company, shorn of much of its distressed real-estate assets, is being called CleanCo, these people say.

Lehman has been shopping for investors to buy a piece of its investment-management unit, which includes the profitable asset-manager Neuberger Berman. Three private-equity firms are in the running for this division, with bids due late Friday night. People familiar with the company say the piece could bring in about $5 billion.

The financial firm was trading normally with counterparties on Tuesday. Rival Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs Group Inc. said it was doing business with the firm.

Lehman, one of four big independent firms remaining after the near collapse of Bear Stearns Cos. in March, declined to comment.

The firm's situation differs markedly from that of Bear Stearns, which was taken over earlier this year after it ran into a liquidity crisis. Unlike Bear Stearns, Lehman has access to new Federal Reserve facilities that can provide short-term funding when the markets won't, in addition to the ability to exchange illiquid assets for safer securities like Treasurys.

That makes a sudden run on an investment bank less likely than it was a few months ago. The facilities for dealers weren't in place when Bear Stearns faced its crisis. The Fed does not disclose which institutions are using these facilities.

Lehman's declines came after the Korea Development Bank, which has been in talks with Lehman about a capital infusion, said Tuesday it had closed the door on a possible deal. Discussions between Lehman and KDB ended in early August, according to a person familiar with the talks, but persistent rumors that a deal was still possible continued to bolster its stock.

The firm's share decline helped drag down the rest of the market, which had rallied strongly on Monday after the bailout of Fannie and Freddie. Financial stocks tumbled more than 6%, including a 10% decline for Lehman rival Merrill Lynch and a 14% drop for Wachovia, which is also struggling under the weight of bad mortgage loans.

By 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average had shed 280 points, nearly wiping out the 289-point gain from Monday's session. Lehman shares last swapped hands at $7.79 each, their lowest level in 10 years.

The severe stock drop showed how skittish investors remain about Lehman, a bond-focused firm that moved aggressively into the commercial real-estate market and leveraged loans over the last few years, and often produced record profits between 2004 and 2007.

As the value of those investments has unraveled, Lehman has scrambled to raise capital to absorb the ensuing losses. Lehman's market capitalization stood Tuesday at $6 billion, down from $37.2 billion at the start of 2008. It has lost $4 billion in market capitalization in the past two days alone.

'It is a chicken-and-egg issue,' said Tanya Azarchs, an analyst at S&P. When Lehman looks as if it's having trouble raising capital, shares fall. When shares fall, raising capital by selling shares gets harder. 'Regardless of whether the rumor is true or not, in a way it becomes self fulfilling.'

Markets expect that continued losses on residential and commercial mortgage securities will force Lehman to seek still more capital than the $12 billion it has already raised this year. The firm's capital, or its shareholders equity -- about $32 billion -- is the cushion that protects creditors from any losses on its about $640 billion in assets.

Analysts are predicting the firm will lose as much as $4.6 billion and faces several billion in write-downs on its real-estate portfolio.

Bonds issued by Lehman also lost value Tuesday, pushing some of their interest yields to more than eight percentage points above comparable Treasury securities. Debt investors 'are understandably worried that the Federal Reserve and the Treasury department don't have an unlimited appetite for bailout transactions,' said Kathleen Shanley, an analyst at Gimme Credit, in note on Tuesday afternoon.

In the market for credit-default swaps, where traders buy and sell private contracts that act like insurance against debt defaults, the annual cost of protecting $10 million of Lehman debt from default over five years jumped to $520,000 on Tuesday afternoon, versus $325,000 on Monday, according to data from Phoenix Partners Group. The higher cost indicates investors see a growing risk that the firm could default on its obligations.

In March, the cost of protection on Lehman's debt briefly hit a high of $580,000. Contracts on Bear Stearns' debt had peaked at around $820,000 before the investment bank was rescued by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

Lehman's preferred shares also tumbled to new lows, a development that could hamper the company's ability to raise additional capital by issuing more of these hybrid stock-debt securities. One issue -- Lehman Series J preferred shares -- fell more than 24% on Tuesday to $9.15, down from their issuance price of around $25. Lehman pays a fixed annual dividend of 7.95% on these shares, and their current prices reflect a yield of 16.6%, according to PreferredsOnline, a database for U.S. preferred securities. That means that to attract outside investors to new preferred shares, Lehman would have to pay prohibitively expensive annual rates of 16% or more.

S&P, in placing its single-A rating on Lehman on review for a downgrade, said it might end up affirming the ratings but could also downgrade them by more than one notch. Lehman's short-term credit ratings could also be cut, which could affect its ability to tap money-market funds for cash in the short-term debt and overnight repurchase agreement markets.

Adding to the turmoil: The firm Tuesday cut another 1,000 to 1,500 jobs. As employees cleared out their desks, colleagues stayed glued to television screens, watching Lehman's share decline. Outside the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan, one employee who declined to be named said: 'The market is biased against us.'

Over the weekend, Lehman executives grew heartened by the government's rescue of Fannie and Freddie. They expected the plan to soothe the markets, particularly for the battered financial sector.

Investors appeared agitated about Lehman, however, which for months has been loath to provide details about how it would find new capital. By failing to announce a solution before now, Lehman has backed itself into a corner.

In theory, the steep drop in its market value should make Lehman a more attractive takeover target. A more likely scenario may be for Lehman to continue to muddle through, using access to the Fed's discount window to fulfill its counterparty obligations.

'Clearly the company does not believe that it has a serious balance-sheet problem and it simply refuses to take what it believes are fire-sale prices for its key assets,' Richard Bove of Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. said before Tuesday's stock drop. 'Buyers seem to believe that Lehman is overvaluing its assets and refuse to hit the bid.'

Susanne Craig / Randall Smith / Serena Ng / Matthew Karnitschnig
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