FleetBoston Financial Corp. is the latest large regional banking company to come under scrutiny for its exposure to capital markets and private equity markets, but it is faring better than most in the eyes of Wall Street.
In a research note Friday, Lori Appelbaum, an analyst at Goldman Sachs Group, estimated Fleet would report a 50% decline in fourth-quarter private equity activities and a 25% drop in equity underwriting from third-quarter levels. Recently, similar forecasts made by banking companies themselves have sent financial shares into a tumble. But Fleet's case may be different. Ms. Appelbaum wrote that the company would offset its weaknesses with a strong quarter in merger and acquisition advisory activities, other types of underwriting, and revenues from credit cards and trading activities.