UPDATE 2-PrivateBancorp swings to Q2 loss

martes 29 de julio de 2008 18:39 CEST

(Adds analysts comments, details, share movement)

By Sweta Singh and Krishna Chaithanya

BANGALORE, July 29 (Reuters) - PrivateBancorp Inc PVTB.O swung to a second-quarter loss, hurt by higher expenses and provision for bad loans, but its shares rose sharply as investors cheered the modest rise in the bank's nonperforming assets and the strong loan growth.

Shares of the Chicago-based regional bank rose as much as 17 percent in morning trade.

"A 25 percent loan growth is unheard of in this market.. as well as the aggressive pace of hiring," Oppenheimer & Co analyst Terry McEvoy said.

The quarter saw a modest growth in non-performing assets and manageable net charge-offs, McEvoy told Reuters, adding that there was no "pronounced deterioration" in the company's loan portfolio amid a difficult credit market.

PrivateBancorp, which has been hiring aggressively as part of its strategic growth plan, benefited from adding executives from LaSalle Bank, a unit of Bank of America (BAC.N: Cotización) since Oct. 1.

"It is the first situation where a much smaller bank has taken pretty much the entire management team from a larger company... a lot of the head guys from LaSalle Bank," Sandler O'Neill & Partners analyst Daniel Arnold said.

In a conference call with analysts, a company executive said the bank will continue to hire in the third quarter and that expenses are expected to be moderate.   Continuación...