Standard & Poor's Corp. has concluded that Chemical Banking Corp. and BankAmerica Corp. are the biggest winners from the recent agreements on Third World loans.
The pacts left Chemical with $1 billion in excess loan-loss reserves and BankAmerica with $660 million, S&P calculated.
Those funds can now be allocated against other problem loans. The result: Both institutions will be able to take smaller loan-loss provisions down the road, which will boost profits.
"It's a rather meaningful issue at Chemical Bank," said David Berry, a bank stock analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc.
At the other end of the equation, Citicorp figures to gain a paltry $80 million in reserves, S&P said.
The report, written by analyst Tanya Azarchs and released Monday, represents the first estimate of individual banks' excess reserves in light of recent debt restructuring agreements with Argentina and Brazil.
Analysts said Monday that they had already calculated the effect of the debt pacts and therefore would not change earnings estimates as a result of the study.
S&P found that major U.S. lenders to the Third World have a total of $2.6 billion in excess loan-loss reserves..
J.P. Morgan & Co.'s excess reserves were put at $400 million, while Bankers Trust New York Corp.'s were $200 million. Because both companies have already reallocated Third World reserves, they have already accrued that benefit.
Chase Manhattan Corp., which has a large amount of domestic nonperforming loans, has $230 million in excess reserves.
End of a Crisis
The latest agreements effectively mark the end of the crisis involving loans to Less Developed Countries.
"We don't feel there's any more downward pressure on credit ratings as a result of LDC debt," said Michael DeStefano, director in S&P's financial institution unit.
However, excess LDC reserves will not trigger further ratings upgrades, he said.
Chemical's excess reserves represents about 140% of its loan-loss provision in the first half.
Chemical's medium- and long-term Third World debt totals $3.8 billion. Its stock closed Monday at $34.25, up 12.5 cents.
The rating agency calculated banks' needs for LDC reserves based on its own model, which assumed a 50% reserve for loans to Brazil and Argentina.
Chase recently told analysts its net interest income will rise by about $60 million to $70 million after the Brazilian restructuring is completed.
As major LDC countries have restructured their debts, banks have been able to redirect LDC reserves to their general loss reserves.
Chemical and Citicorp this year have both transferred $200 million, and Bankers Trust and J.P. Morgan have transferred $1.2 billion and 400 million, respectively, since 1989.