Deposits Flood Into Ex-CU Going Public

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Kaiser Federal Savings Bank, the converted CU in the process of going public, reported a tremendous inflow of savings prior to the announcement of its initial public offering as speculators from around the country sought to qualify for what is expected to be a hot offering.

The credit union-convert reported deposits soared by 43% between June 30, 2002 and Sept. 30, 2003 to $361 million, as speculators sought to get in before the Dec. 31 cut-off date for tier one investors.

"At least part of it is because depositors are opening up accounts so they can buy stock in the offering," said Robert Clark, an analyst for SNL Financial, a Charlottesville, Va., firm specializing in thrifts.

Professional investors are constantly hunting for mutual thrifts that may be planning to go public because the market for thrift stock is so hot, Clark told The Credit Union Journal.

Rainier Pacific Savings Bank, the ex-credit union that went public last November, saw a doubling in its deposits in the year prior to going public. Kaiser Federal, known until 1999 as Kaiser Permanente FCU, is in the process of selling stock to depositors and plans to begin trading on the Nasdaq later this month.

Clark said he expects the stock to be popular with investors and appreciate at "least 20%" when it hits the market.

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