UPDATE 3-Bank of America likely to win Lehman: analyst Bove

viernes 12 de septiembre de 2008 17:02 CEST

(Adds S&P Equity analyst comments)

By Tenzin Pema

BANGALORE, Sept 12 (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: Cotización), the largest U.S. bank by market value, will likely win the auction for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc LEH.N, said Ladenburg Thalmann & Co analyst Richard Bove on Friday, a day after Lehman was forced into talks to sell the whole company.

Analyst Matthew Albrecht at Standard and Poor's Equity Research, referring to an unconfirmed report that Lehman was in talks with a variety of potential acquirers, said he expects "...a deal could be consummated over the weekend."

Shares of Lehman fell as much as 16 percent to $3.55 in morning trade Friday on concerns that the company may not be able to arrange a U.S. government-backed takeover.

On Thursday, sources said Lehman and U.S. officials were in intensive discussions about a number of options, including a complete sale of the company, as questions over the survival of the Wall Street investment bank mounted.

"I believe that Bank of America will win the auction for Lehman... There is a natural fit between the two companies," analyst Bove said, as various reports suggested Bank of America or British bank Barclays Plc (BARC.L: Cotización) could be suitors for Lehman.

Bove, who according to Thomson Reuters data is the top ranked analyst in the accuracy of his estimates for Lehman, was one of the first banking analysts to recommend selling financial stocks as credit market problems began.

In July last year, he correctly predicted the booming growth of the financial system could not be sustained by economic growth.   Continuación...