Another major American financial institution went on the international auction
block Wednesday afternoon as Morgan Stanley announced it was
accepting a $5 billion cash infusion from China Investment
in return for a stake in the bank estimated to be as high as 9.9 percent. The
Chinese company will be a passive investor and will not have a seat on its board
or a role in management.
Morgan, one of the nation's largest investment banks had earlier in the day
reported a huge fourth-quarter loss tied to an unexpectedly large $9.4 billion
write-down in mortgages and other assets. This was nearly twice
the $5 billion loss that analysts and market-watchers were expected as the bank
went on the offensive to write down its exposure to losses from derivatives
and mortgage securities.
The quarterly loss equated to $3.61 per share compared to the $0.39 cents per
share analysts had expected
The next shoe to drop will be the announcement of quarterly earnings from Bear
Stearns expected on Thursday. Analysts are looking for projected fourth-quarter
results to be a loss of about $1.79 per share. Bear Stearns was one of the first
of the big financial institutions to signal that its investments in the mortgage
sector were probably going to come to no good end.
Morgan Stanley's stock was trading near $50 a share after the announcement
of the Chinese infusion. The stock had hit $47.90 earlier in the day.