Trading in shares of Dime Bancorp and Astoria Financial Corp. surged
Sources said Dime had bid an unsolicited $60 a share for Astoria.
Dime rose 2.63%, and Astoria 2.33% after giving back some ground.
Thrift analysts said they doubted a deal was imminent but said a merger
Dime and Astoria together would have the No. 1 deposit market share on
The companies are of equivalent size, focus on residential lending, have
Both companies have expressed an interest in possible mergers with other
"The only reason why they have not gotten together in the past is
But a deal may not be close. "I don't think anything is imminent right
Astoria completed that $1.2 billion stock purchase Oct. 1. The deal made
Meanwhile, bank stocks rallied Thursday as investors snapped up
Investors are searching for value plays or bank stocks that have been
The S&P bank index rose 0.74%, and the Dow Jones industrial average
The S&P 500 gained 0.71%, and the Nasdaq bank index 0.21%.
Investors found regional banks to be most attractive.
Gainers included First Union Corp. 68.75 cents, to $61.6875; PNC Bank
Buy-side analyst Francis X. Suozzo of Alliance Capital Management LP
More banks are buying back stocks, and Brazil and Japan are taking steps
"Investors are beginning to believe the world is a little bit safer," he
Bank analyst Eric E. Rothmann of Stephens Inc., Little Rock, Ark., said
Some traders said a few institutional players sat out the recent rally
"Many investors are holding cash and scratching their heads," said one
Market experts added that portfolio managers are less likely to make big