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BB&T seeks to raise $750M in new capital

Posted August 15, 2009
Updated August 17, 2009

— BB&T NYSE: BBT) is launching a stock offering to raise $750 million in new capital.

The announcement comes on the heels of Friday's news that BB&T would acquire assets of Colonial BanGroup.

Credit Suisse (USA) Securities LLC and Deutsche Bank Securities are handling the offering for BB&T.

Funds are for general purposes and to raise regulatory capital, BB&T said.

Colonial BancGroup Inc. was shut down by federal officials in the biggest U.S. bank failure this year on Friday, setting the stage for the BB&T takeover..

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which was appointed receiver of the Montgomery, Ala.-based Colonial and its about $25 billion in assets, said the failed bank’s 346 branches in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Texas reopened at the normal times starting on Saturday as offices of BB&T.

The FDIC has approved the sale of Colonial’s $20 billion in deposits and about $22 billion of its assets to BB&T Corp.

Regulators also closed four other banks: Community Bank of Arizona, based in Phoenix; Union Bank, based in Gilbert, Ariz.; Community Bank of Nevada, based in Las Vegas; and Dwelling House Savings and Loan Association, located in Pittsburgh.

The closures boosted to 77 the number of federally insured banks that have failed in 2009.

The agency established a temporary government bank for Community Bank of Nevada to give depositors about 30 days to open accounts at other financial institutions. The failed bank had assets of $1.52 billion and deposits of $1.38 billion as of June 30.

Community Bank of Arizona had assets of $158.5 million and deposits of $143.8 million as of June 30, while Union Bank had assets of $124 million and deposits of $112 million as of June 12. The FDIC said that MidFirst Bank, based in Oklahoma City, has agreed to assume all the deposits and $125.5 million of the assets of Community Bank of Arizona, as well as about $24 million of the deposits and $11 million of the assets of Union Bank. The FDIC will retain the rest for eventual sale.

Dwelling House had $13.4 million in assets and $13.8 million in deposits as of March 31. PNC Bank, part of Pittsburgh-based PNC Financial Services Group Inc., has agreed to assume all of Dwelling House’s deposits and about $3 million of its assets; the FDIC will retain the rest for eventual sale.

The failure of Colonial is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund an estimated $2.8 billion and that of Community Bank of Nevada, $781.5 million; Union Bank, $61 million; Community Bank of Arizona, $25.5 million; and Dwelling House, $6.8 million.

The 77 bank failures nationwide this year compare with 25 last year and three in 2007.

As the economy has soured — with unemployment rising, home prices tumbling and loan defaults soaring — bank failures have cascaded and sapped billions out of the deposit insurance fund. It now stands at its lowest level since 1993, $13 billion as of the first quarter.

While losses on home mortgages may be leveling off, delinquencies on commercial real estate loans remain a hot spot of potential trouble, FDIC officials say. If the recession deepens, defaults on the high-risk loans could spike. Many regional banks hold large numbers of them.

The number of banks on the FDIC’s list of problem institutions leaped to 305 in the first quarter — the highest number since 1994 during the savings and loan crisis — from 252 in the fourth quarter. The FDIC expects U.S. bank failures to cost the insurance fund around $70 billion through 2013.

The May closing of struggling Florida thrift BankUnited FSB is expected to cost the insurance fund $4.9 billion, the second-largest hit since the financial crisis began. The costliest was the July 2008 seizure of big California lender IndyMac Bank, on which the insurance fund is estimated to have lost $10.7 billion.

The largest U.S. bank failure ever also came last year: Seattle-based thrift Washington Mutual Inc. fell in September, with about $307 billion in assets. It was acquired by JPMorgan Chase & Co. for $1.9 billion in a deal brokered by the FDIC.

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