Morgan Stanley, trading at less than half of its liquidation value, could be worth as much as $32 a share in a break-up, said Michael Mayo, an analyst at CLSA Ltd.
Short-sellers betting against Morgan Stanley would be “blown to Neptune” if the New York-based investment bank heeds calls for the biggest U.S. financial firms to be split into pieces, Mayo said Wednesday in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Street Smart.” The stock sold for $13 at 3:22 p.m. in New York.
James Gorman, Morgan Stanley’s chief executive officer, said last week that the firm will continue to shrink its fixed-income trading unit, cutting so-called risk-weighted assets 30 percent from the third quarter of 2011 by the end of 2014. Mayo said that reduction should be closer to two-thirds.
“This is not a tough call,” Mayo said. “If you break up the big banks, at least in the case of Morgan Stanley, I think investors would be huge winners. I hope they can achieve this value on their own without a breakup, but they don’t have forever.”
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