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Stock markets in Europe fell on Monday amid concern over the fallout of the failure of Silicon Valley Bank, the U.S. bank known for lending to technology companies, despite regulators’ moves to contain the crisis and avoid a domino effect with various measures.
U.S. markets also opened the week lower, driven by a drop in banking stocks, but they recovered and were roughly unchanged as of 10 a.m. ET after U.S. President Joe Biden tried to reassure investors, saying: “No losses will be borne by the taxpayers.”
The ripple effects of the SVB collapse will also impact the U.S. entertainment industry. Hollywood payroll services firm Wrapbook, which told its production company customers on March 10 that payroll processing would be delayed, gave an update to clients on Sunday saying it will be processing outstanding worker payments on Monday via direct deposit and expects to be “fully operational” by Wednesday.
Several companies with connections to the entertainment business, such as Roku, Vimeo and Roblox, said in regulatory filings on Friday that they had accounts at the bank. That being said, none of them have said that the failure of SVB would have a dramatic impact on their ability to operate. At least one analyst also reiterated his bullishness on Roku despite a Friday warning by the technology firm about the Silicon Valley Bank collapse.
Roku said that it had $487 million at SVB, more than a fourth of its total cash holdings. “At this time, the company does not know to what extent the company will be able to recover its cash on deposit at SVB,” Roku had warned on Friday. A team of analysts at Evercore ISI in a Monday report summarized that Roku had “meaningful exposure” to the SVB crisis.
But Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter reiterated his “outperform” rating and $80 stock price target on Roku on Monday. “Even while current concerns around Roku’s cash will likely impact its share price, we believe Roku’s new products and features will drive enough user growth to insulate it over the near-term,” he argued.
Meanwhile, Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall in a Monday report spoke of “little SVB fallout,” noting: “Of the 29 stocks we cover, only Roku issued (a regulatory filing) on Friday about deposits at Silicon Valley Bank.”
In the face of one of the biggest banking failures since the financial crisis of 2008, the broad-based S&P 500 stock index dropped 1.2 percent in early U.S. Monday trading before stabilizing.
The pan-European Stoxx 600 index though plunged 2.8 percent as of that time, 3 p.m. Paris time, led by a drop in banking stocks amid worries of more bank failures. Meanwhile, the German DAX fell 3.3 percent, while in London, the FTSE 100 lost 2.4 percent. The Japanese Nikkei stock index closed down 1.1 percent, while the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong bucked the trend to gain 2.0 percent.
In a sign that investors were looking for safe havens, the price of gold rose. Meanwhile, a key gauge of stock market volatility, the so-called Cboe Volatility Index, hit its highest level since October.
Bank regulators in the U.S., the U.K. and other countries spent the weekend discussing the best reaction to the quick collapse of Silicon Valley Bank amid fears of contagion that would hit other parts of the banking and financial system.
With Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) in receivership with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., an independent agency created by Congress to maintain stability and public confidence in the financial system, any deposits above the $250,000 threshold that the FDIC insures were in jeopardy until the agency figures out how to distribute the bank’s assets.
On Sunday, U.S. regulators took control of a second bank, Signature Bank, which is known for working with cryptocurrency companies as well as used by many Broadway productions. The Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC also unveiled emergency measures to ease fears that depositors could pull their money from smaller lenders. Among them are guarantees of all deposits of SVB. The Fed and Treasury also said they would use their emergency lending authority to make more funds available and prevent runs on other banks.
In Britain on Monday, banking giant HSBC unveiled a deal to take over SVB U.K. for £1 ($1.20).
On the weekend, dozens of early-stage companies wrote to U.K. chancellor, or finance minister, Jeremy Hunt, to warn of “an existential threat to the U.K. tech sector,” Sky News reported. “The majority of the most exciting and dynamic tech businesses bank with SVB and have no or limited diversity in where their deposits are held,” their letter said. “This weekend the majority of us as tech founders are running numbers to see if we are potentially technically insolvent. The impact of this is far greater than our individual businesses.” The letter concluded that the collapse of the U.K. arm of SVB would “cripple the sector and set the ecosystem back 20 years.”
MoffettNathanson analysts Craig Moffett and Michael Nathanson had in a weekend email also addressed the SVB failure after the research firm was acquired in Dec. 2021.
“We’re still here,” they wrote. “We want to reassure you that our business continues uninterrupted, and our commitment to delivering the very best research remains unwavering.” The MoffettNathanson team added that “our parent company, SVB Securities Holdings, was and is a separate entity that is not directly impacted by the events at the bank. While events continue to evolve rapidly, we have every expectation of maintaining business as usual.”
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