PacWest shares extend recovery on sale of real-estate lending unit

(Reuters) – Shares of PacWest Bancorp climbed 6.4% in premarket trading on Wednesday after the U.S. mid-sized lender agreed to sell its property lending unit in the second asset sale this week to bolster its balance sheet.

The stock has nearly tripled in value to close at $7.38 on Tuesday since hitting a record low on May 4 on a report that the Los Angeles-based bank was exploring strategic alternatives.


However, shares remain about 68% lower since the start of the year after being caught up in the regional banking crisis.

Real estate financing firm Roc360 late on Tuesday said it would acquire the PacWest unit for an undisclosed amount. The division offers loans to landlords and investors interested in purchasing homes for renovation and resale.

On Monday, PacWest announced the sale of $2.6 billion worth of real estate construction loans at a discount.

The sales come when investors focus on regional lenders’ exposure to the beleaguered commercial real estate market as borrowers struggle to make payments in a rising interest rate environment while asset prices have slumped.

Share of the troubled bank have recovered alongside regional lenders as investors bet that the worst was over for the sector following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, Signature Bank and First Republic Bank.

The KBW Regional Banking Index hit a more than three-week high on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)