Faced with higher credit losses, Hanmi Financial Corp. in Los Angeles should raise capital, some analysts say.
The $3.85 billion-asset Hanmi lost $105.5 million in the second quarter on a $107.4 million goodwill impairment charge and a $19.2 million loan-loss provision, a sixfold increase from a year earlier. The company is well capitalized, with Tier 1 and total risk-based capital ratios of 9.4% and 10.66%, respectively. But if losses on real estate loans continue to rise, its capital designation could be reduced to "adequately capitalized," analysts say.
"Those ratios are fine in good times, but these are not good times," Chris Stulpin, an analyst at D.A. Davidson & Co., said on Thursday.
Hanmi declined to comment this week, but Jay S. Yoo, its newly minted chief executive, said this summer that Hanmi Bank's "capital levels and liquidity position remain adequate." He succeeded Sung Won Sohn, who retired in December as CEO, on June 13. Mr. Sohn, who had been an economist at Wells Fargo & Co. before joining Hanmi in 2004, is now an economist at California State University, Los Angeles. (Chung Hoon Youk, who also has left the company, was Hanmi's interim CEO.)
In a research note last month, James Abbott, an analyst at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co. Inc., wrote that, since nonperforming assets now are 3.34% of its total loans, Hanmi's capital position is "significantly inadequate." Its risk-based capital exceeds the minimum 10% ratio that denotes a well capitalized company by only $23 million, he wrote. In the second quarter, nonperforming assets rose fourfold from a year earlier, to $112 million.
Hanmi "has an abundance of supersized loans, which creates above average single-event risk that capital could be depleted quickly," Mr. Abbott wrote. And the company has used up roughly two-thirds of its Federal Home Loan bank borrowing capacity, leaving it about $290 million of unused liquidity.
Sean Ryan, an analyst at Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc., said on Tuesday that he is less worried about Hanmi's situation than others, but he said the company would be "well-advised" to raise capital. Most of its commercial real estate loan portfolio is holding up fairly well, he said.
"I'm not sure they absolutely need to raise capital, but that said, it's probably the best course," he said. "If it turns out you didn't need that extra capital to survive, then you have tremendous opportunities available" such as buying other banks. Hanmi could get a transaction done, Mr. Ryan said, though maybe not on terms it would prefer.
Mr. Stulpin said that raising capital would be prudent — "but in this market it's almost impossible." It could shrink its balance sheet by selling the riskier loans, he said.
Hanmi has taken some steps. Last month it suspended its dividend, and it is centralizing its credit underwriting operations, creating a mechanism to monitor all loans, and increasing resources to address problem assets. The company also named a credit officer last month, John Park, filling a post that had been vacant a year. Mr. Hoon Youk had also been interim credit officer; he left to become CEO of Saehan Bancorp and its banking unit.