Financial Stocks Worth Buying (Really)
While the financial sector looks gloomy as Lehman Brothers continues its search to find a suitor, there are still attractive companies in the sector, Wouter Weijand, chief investment officer for high income equity of Fortis Investments, told CNBC Friday.
Qatar's Doha Bank, French insurance heavyweight AXA and U.S. bank People's United Financial are the best bets, Weijand said.
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Doha Bank has a strong market share and a strong margin position, Weijand pointed out, adding that the Middle Eastern bank is expanding in Kuwait and Oman.
"They are just way too cheap and that's why we want to pick this stock," Weijand told "Worldwide Exchange."
AXA is also attractive a current levels after recent selloffs, Weijand said. Investors should look to their "great" second-quarter results and exposure to emerging markets, he added.
(Watch Wouter Weijand's CNBC interview, video at left).
"Their balance sheet is just great, they have no capital shortage, they can easily expand and buy some mid-sized companies, maybe in emerging markets," Weijand said.
In addition, People's United Financial is "they are prepared not for a storm, but for a hurricane" and their balance sheet is over-capitalized.
"They are really prepared to do some interesting takeovers in the North East of the US, where they are active," Weijand said.
People's United Financial is safe from being a takeover target itself for the next three years because of regulations, "so they have all the time in the world in these difficult market circumstances to pick up the pieces," Weijand said.