SNS, Cyprus prompt surge in Rabobank certificate trading

Rabobank members have been selling far more membership certificates than normal, possibly prompted by Cyprus and the nationalisation of SNS, the Financieele Dagblad reports on Tuesday.

‘The gloomy sentiment surrounding banks over the past two months has been supply driven,’ a spokesman told the paper. In May, 10.4 million certificates were traded, in April 9.4 million and in March 8.1 million. In a normal month, trade totals an average 3.5 million.

Rabobank said it thinks the surge in sales has been prompted by the Cyprus crisis and financial difficulties at financial services group SNS. In both cases, investors were hit by losses on subordinated bonds. Rabobank certificates are also subordinated.

The cooperative bank itself is likely to have bought a considerable amount of these certificates, which may be pressuring its core assets, the paper says. Membership certificates owned by the bank itself may not be included as core capital.

The value of outstanding certificates is around €6.6 billion, the FD said.

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