Shares of Bear, Stearns & Co. have surged on merger speculation this summer, with talk centering on the possibility that a big commercial bank might buy the New York investment bank.

Bear Stearns shares are up about 40% since July 12, when Paine Webber announced its $16 billion merger deal with UBS, touching off a round of merger talk about other investment banks. Some speculation centered on the possibility that UBS would cut a deal for Bear Stearns to add to its presence in the U.S. market, while others pegged Chase Manhattan Corp. as the likely buyer. Deutsche Bank AG has been mentioned a foreign bank looking to include another U.S. investment bank in its portfolio.

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.