The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Citigroup, PNC Financial Services Group and M&T Bank - Press Releases

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL - April 13, 2015 - announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Citigroup Inc. ( C - Free Report ), PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. ( PNC - Free Report ) and M&T Bank Corp. ( MTB - Free Report ).

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Here are highlights from Friday's Analyst Blog:

Bank Stock Roundup

Over the last four trading days, overall market sentiments remained optimistic, and this was also reflected in the performance of banking stocks. Legal issues continued to crop up, but banks carried on with their efforts to expand in newer areas with the aim to improve efficiency. These efforts were enough to cheer up investors.

With the earnings season starting early next week, investors are eagerly waiting to catch on the financial performance of banks over the past three months. During this period, banks have undertaken various measures, which, along with buoyancy in the overall economy, are expected to get reflected in the results.

(Read the last Bank Stock Roundup for Mar 27, 2015 )

Recap of the Week's Most Important Developments:

1. Citigroup Inc. ( C - Free Report ) is likely to face another blow as regulators are beefing up investigations pertaining to the alleged manipulation of the foreign exchange ("FX") market by several global banks. Per a Bloomberg report, the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") is seeking Citigroup's main banking subsidiary - Citibank NA - to plead guilty to criminal charges related to fixing of FX markets (read more: DOJ Targets Citigroup Unit for Guilty Plea in Forex Probe ).

2. Citigroup continues to face setbacks related to its Argentine bond payment. After suspending the company from conducting capital-market operations in the country, the government of Argentina filed a lawsuit against the New York-based bank.

The Argentine government stated that since Citigroup reached an agreement last month with certain hedge funds that are engaged in a long-standing legal tussle with the country, it was compelled to sue the company. Axel Kicillof, the Economy Minister of Argentina, said that the government was seeking a ruling that would nullify the agreement in Argentine courts. Kicillof declared that the deal between Citgroup and the holdout creditors "violated and interfered with regulations governing our public debt." (Read more: Citi Sued by Argentina over Agreement with Holdout Creditors )

3. The thaw in relation between the U.S. and Cuba has encouraged major banks to resume banking operations in Cuba. At a forum related to the Summit of the Americas in Panama, Francisco Aristeguieta, the CEO of Citigroup's operations in 23 Latin American countries, stated that the bank is considering the revival of business in Cuba.

Notably, Citigroup's return to the country will take time due to political reasons as well as stringent regulations that Cuba has in place.

4. As part of its 2015 capital plan (approved by the Federal Reserve), The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. ( PNC - Free Report ) announced a 6% dividend hike. The bank will be paying 51 cents per share as quarterly cash dividend on May 5, 2015, to shareholders of record as on Apr 15. Concurrently, the company announced redemption of Fixed-to-Floating Rate Non-Cumulative Perpetual Preferred Stock, Series K worth $500 million on May 4 (read more: PNC Financial Raises Dividend, to Redeem Preferred Stock ).

5. The attempt to close the long-awaited merger deal between M&T Bank Corp. ( MTB - Free Report ) and Hudson City Bancorp, Inc. has fell through yet again. As revealed by the banks, the Federal Reserve had informed M&T Bank that it will not be able to complete its review on the merger application before Apr 30, and hence the merger deal would not be closed by May 1 as previously planned (read more: M&T, Hudson City Merger Halted Again as Fed Delays Review ).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free .

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

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CITIGROUP INC (C): Free Stock Analysis Report

PNC FINL SVC CP (PNC): Free Stock Analysis Report

M&T BANK CORP (MTB): Free Stock Analysis Report

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

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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