16 Jul 2017 - 23:18
Bankers remain confident in oil lending
New York: Fears of a long spell of low oil prices haven’t shaken Wall Street’s confidence in the sector.
With the price of crude languishing around $46 a barrel in New York, the industry’s bankers remain optimistic about their energy investments, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. That’s different from a year earlier, when banks pulled back on loans to energy companies after crude dropped to about $26 a barrel in January 2016. While prices have fallen about 13 percent since the banks last reported in April, energy portfolios have remained stable. A strong performance by Wells Fargo’s oil and gas portfolio in the second quarter helped shrink a $6 m decline in commercial losses, according to their earnings report. Meanwhile, JPMorgan said it released about $250m from its reserves in the quarter, after starting the year with $1.5bn set aside for energy. “Whatever the price that would make people disturbed, it’s a lower price than what you might have thought a couple of years ago,” John Shrewsberry (pictured), Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer, said in the company’s earnings report. “It doesn’t feel like an area of concern.”