Earnings will still be down this year, equity valuations too high: John Zechner
U.S. banks rallied Friday following a strong earnings season, while Canadian banks have maintained strong capital levels despite tumultuous times, but one finance expert says the headwinds up against this sector are enough for him to not go out and buy these stocks right now.
Speaking to BNN Bloomberg’s Amber Kanwar in an interview on Friday, John Zechner, chairman and founder of J. Zechner Associates, said the aggressive nature of rate hikes in Canada, coupled with the uncertain outlook for regional banks in the U.S., is enough for him to be cautious on the North American banking sector at large.
“Yes, we own those names (Canadian and U.S. banks), but I’m not a buyer of any of them today,” he said.
South of the border, Zechner pointed to the recent instability within U.S. regional banks following the initial collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. While the larger U.S. banks benefited from the shake-up, he is watching for further weakness ahead.
Meanwhile, here in Canada, Zechner pointed to the Bank of Canada’s aggressive rate hikes as the driving headwind for the sector that is giving him pause.
“The Canadian banks are generally well capitalized, on the other side, I think there is maybe more risk in the Canadian economy for all the rate increases you’ve seen,” he said.
In particular, Zechner is concerned with the average consumer’s indebtedness and the pressure within Canada’s housing market.
“The consumer is much more highly leveraged in Canada than the U.S., and I think there’s a little more air under the housing market here,” he said.