Banking News: Bank of America Corp (BAC)’s Thundering Herd, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) & Wells Fargo & Co (WFC)’s Accord

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Editor’s Note: Related tickers: Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), Global Payments Inc (NYSE:GPN)

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC)B of A Will Dissolve Merrill Lynch Unit While Keeping Name (AmericanBanker)
Merrill Lynch & Co., the 99-year-old firm known for its “thundering herd” of brokers pitching stocks to Main Street, may cease to exist as a legal entity more than four years after being acquired by Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC). While Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) will keep the Merrill Lynch brand for its retail brokerage and investment bank, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company plans to dissolve the subsidiary as early as the fourth quarter, according to an Aug. 2 filing. The firm will assume all of Merrill Lynch’s obligations and debt. Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), the second-biggest U.S. lender by assets, is simplifying its structure after Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan’s predecessor bought Merrill Lynch in 2009.

Global Payments Downgraded to “Neutral” at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (GPN) (Zolmax)
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) downgraded shares of Global Payments Inc (NYSE:GPN) from an overweight rating to a neutral rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning, TheFlyOnTheWall.com reports. They currently have $55.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $48.00. “Global Payments Inc (NYSE:GPN) is the cheapest merchant processor in our coverage, trading at a forward price-to-earnings ratio in the low teens versus peers in the mid-teens or higher. Given uneven results fueled by a challenging business mix (Canada regulation risk, high U.S. ISO channel exposure at a low contribution margin, and low growth prospects in Asia absent new distribution), we see little room for EPS growth acceleration absent a new deal or acquisition.

Wells Fargo Buys $1.6B of ING CRE Loans (Globest)
ING Real Estate Finance (USA) LLC said Friday that it has reached an agreement to sell 29 US CRE loans with a total outstanding balance of $1.6 billion to Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC). Terms were not disclosed. …At Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), Mark Myers, head of commercial real estate with the San Francisco-based bank, says that adding the loans to the portfolio is “consistent with our business strategy and risk management practices. Many of our existing customers have loans in this portfolio as well, and we look forward to meeting the needs of those customers while strengthening our commercial real estate business through this acquisition.”

Investors Add $1.5 Billion to Leveraged-Loan Funds, BofA Says (MoneyNews)
Investors added $1.5 billion this week into funds that purchase leveraged loans in the U.S., according to Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) The deposits have added 60 percent in terms of assets this year, according to a research report published yesterday by the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank. “Loans continue to be in investor favor,” credit strategist Neha Khoda wrote in the document. U.S. speculative-grade bond funds declined about 3 percent in assets, recording an outflow of about $420 million this week that was mostly caused by flows out of high-yield exchange-traded funds, according to the report.

2 ex-JPMorgan traders charged (CNBC)

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