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NYCB shares drop on CRE exposure risk, top executives buy stake By Reuters

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© Reuters. A trader works at the post where New York Community Bancorp stock is traded on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., February 7, 2024. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) -New York Community Bancorp (NASDAQ:) extended losses in choppy trading on Friday, reeling under credit-rating cuts over its exposure to the troubled commercial real estate (CRE) sector even as its top executives bought stakes in the bank.

Executive chairman Alessandro DiNello said he had bought 50,000 shares for around $209,480.

Jennifer Whip, another member of the board, bought more than 5,000 shares, while president of mortgage, Lee Smith, invested about $101,250 for 25,000 shares.

The share purchase by executives comes a day after Morningstar downgraded the lender’s credit rating due to “outsized” exposure to CRE. Rating agencies Fitch and Moody’s (NYSE:) had already cut their ratings on the bank.

The bank’s shares have lost more than 60% of their value since Jan. 31 when it posted a surprise quarterly loss and slashed its dividend. It was last down 2.5%.

The selloff sparked worries of a global contagion as investors feared potential defaults of CRE loans would hurt the balance sheets of several regional banks, even as NYCB promised steps to bolster its financial strength.

The KBW Regional Banking Index, a key index to gauge investor sentiment toward the industry, has fallen 11.7% so far this year.

DiNello had said on Wednesday the bank will consider the sale of loans in its CRE portfolio or let them run off the balance sheet naturally. If needed, it would also shrink its balance sheet by selling non-core assets.

“The company is also facing challenges of meeting the higher regulatory bar that comes with being a Schedule IV bank (over $100 billion in assets), while at the same time fully integrating the Flagstar Bancorp (NYSE:) merger,” Morningstar said.



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