JPM

JPMorgan CEO Dimon says market sentiment improving, maintains caution

Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

By Nupur Anand

NEW YORK, Feb 26 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase JPM.N CEO Jamie Dimon said market sentiment is improving for equities, mergers and acquisitions even as he maintained caution about the economic outlook, according to a CNBC interview on Monday.

"Confidence is up, there is more M&A chatter," equity markets are strengthening and high-yield markets are open, Dimon said. "Markets are high, people feel it, so far so good."

Still, "there are things out there which are concerning," Dimon said. While market participants are pricing in 70% to 80% odds of a soft landing for the U.S. economy, Dimon expressed the likelihood as "half of that."

Even though the U.S economy has so far managed to stave off a recession, Dimon has previously warned that geopolitical tensions, including the war in Ukraine and conflict in Gaza, could weigh on global growth.

The CEO of the largest U.S. lender said in October that "this may be the most dangerous time the world has seen in decades."

Dimon also welcomed more regulatory scrutiny of participants in private credit markets that are increasingly competing with banks for deals.

Wall Street lenders have been raising billions of dollars to regain ground in lending to companies in debt-backed deals as competition from giant private equity and asset management firms has increased over the last two years.

JPMorgan has set aside $10 billion of its own capital for private credit, but that could grow significantly depending on demand, sources told Reuters earlier this month.

Dimon also welcomed competition from Capital One Financial's COF.N $35.3 billion deal to buy Discover Financial DFS.N, saying companies should be allowed to grow, merge and innovate.

The combination would create the biggest U.S. credit card issuer with around $250 billion in card balances and a market share of 22%, larger than JPMorgan's.

"I am not worried about it," Dimon said, but added that Capital One's debit network could have unfair advantage. "Of course I have a problem with that," he said, citing different pricing standards for cards provided by banks compared with card issuers.

(Reporting by Nupur Anand in New York, Additional reporting by Rishabh Jaiswal and Nilutpal Timsina in Bengaluru; Editing by Lananh Nguyen, Andrea Ricci and Mark Potter)

((Nupur.Anand@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 240 2975;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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