2008-06-09 — bloomberg.com
Citigroup Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co. and UBS AG may post losses of $10 billion on bond insurance after MBIA Inc. and Ambac Financial Group Inc. lost their top credit ratings, Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Meredith Whitney said.
MBIA and Ambac, the world's largest bond insurers, had their AAA ratings cut two levels by Standard & Poor's June 5, which trimmed ratings on more than $1 trillion of securities they guaranteed. The downgrades may limit the so-called monoline insurers' ability to write new policies, putting further pressure on earnings, she wrote today in a note to investors.
Whitney, one of the first bank analysts last year to gauge the depth of the U.S. credit crisis, said in January that losses tied to the bond insurers for all banks might top $40 billion. She didn't update her estimate. Citigroup, Merrill and UBS have taken more than $10 billion of writedowns related to the insurers, she wrote.
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