Milken kicks off spotlighting banking system, commercial real estate
Top executives at U.S. financial institutions flagged a broader concern around the nation's commercial real estate market, amid tumult in the banking sector.
Why it matters: The insights Monday morning come at a delicate time for the U.S. economy, which is digesting the government takeover of First Republic Bank, the FDIC's third bank intervention since March.
What they're saying: "There's already a lot of pressure in that area," said PGIM CEO David Hunt, referring to the commercial real estate market.
- Hunt was speaking at an opening panel during the Milken Institute's Global Conference, an annual gathering of business and global leaders held in Los Angeles.
- The panel pointed specifically to the strain on commercial real estate backed securities (CMBS) and the turmoil that the Fed's rapid rate hikes have caused across that segment.
- "We're seeing CMBS as much as an opportunity as it is a challenge," added fellow panelist Rishi Kapoor, co-CEO of Investcorp.
Catch up quick: Remote work that took hold during the pandemic hollowed out cities, and sank office occupancy rates.
- Rising interest rates added an additional layer of stress on commercial real estate market, as major loans come due for developers.
Yes, but: Certain parts of commercial real estate are under pressure, but not all of it, said Citigroup CEO Jane Fraser.
- The bottom end of the CMBS stack will be under stress, she notes.
- "But let's not make the sweeping statements and let's not tarnish all the regional and small banks" that provided loans to the sector, Fraser added.
Fraser's bottom line: The First Republic takeover addressed a critical uncertainty looming over the market, and the Citi leader's confidence in the U.S. financial system is unwavering.
- "It's not perfect, but it's the envy of the world," Fraser says, adding that a "small handful" of banks were poorly managed and seizing headlines.