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Oil's rough patch shakes bank investors

January 22, 2015
Houston Chronicle

Green Bancorp priced its shares at $15 for its initial public offering in August, when oil still sold for almost $100 a barrel. Since then, the price of crude has shrunk by half, and shares of Green Bancorp are down by nearly a third. Texas banks are feeling the pinch of oil's big swoon, as lower bank stock prices hit existing shareholders, initial public offerings and prospects for merger and acquisition activity. Low oil prices also could affect acquisitions, said Dan Bass, managing director of investment banking for bank advisory firm Performance Trust Capital Partners. He thinks activity will slow down during the first half of the year. The second half depends on oil prices.

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Examining Chicago’s Economic Recovery

January 22, 2015
Chicago Tonight WTTW

In a panel discussion with Chicago Tonight WTTW, Brian Battle comments on Chicago's economic recovery. A Brookings Institution report ranks Chicago 203rd out of 300 metropolitan areas around the world in bouncing back from recession. Just how concerned should we be?

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Merchants & Farmers Bancshares, Inc. to acquire Vernon Bancshares, Inc.

January 19, 2015
Leesville Daily Leader

Merchants & Farmers Bancshares, Inc. (“M&F Bancshares”), holding company for Merchants & Farmers Bank and Trust Company, (“M&F Bank”) announced Thursday, Jan. 15, the signing of a definitive merger agreement, under which M&F Bancshares has agreed to acquire Vernon Bancshares, Inc. (“VBI”). The terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Performance Trust Capital Partners, LLC, with Jonathan W. Briggs as lead investment banker, acted as financial advisor to M&F Bancshares, and Jones Walker LLP, with lead attorneys Ron Snider and Rob Carothers, acted as its legal advisors.

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YOUR PRACTICE-Tips for talking munis with clients as rate hike looms

January 16, 2015
Reuters.com

Municipal bonds remain a favorite of financial advisers and tax-conscious clients, even though they could be vulnerable to interest rate hikes later this year. Munis - notes issued by states, cities, and counties to finance infrastructure and other projects - can offer a near-guaranteed return to clients, with slightly higher yields than treasuries, investment advisers say. Advisers must help clients realize that outsized returns are not the point of municipals, or any fixed-income investment. A fixed-income portfolio is supposed to produce reliable income, said Brian Battle, analytics group director at Performance Trust Capital Partners in Chicago.

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