Bank stocks across Asia saw a sharp decline this morning on concerns that SVB Financial Group was facing a liquidity crisis. SVB is a US bank that provides loans to tech companies and focuses on startups. Reports emerged that the bank was facing a financial crisis, causing turmoil in trading on the New York Stock Exchange on March 9 and dragging down banking stocks across the board.
The MSCI Asia Pacific Financials Index fell 1.6 percent to its lowest level since Jan. 3, with Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group shares down 3.3 percent. Commonwealth Bank of Australia and South Korea’s KB Financial Group each fell 2.7 percent.
SVB announced $1.75 billion in assets and stock sales to support its balance sheet, which had suffered due to a decline in deposits from startups.
The bank’s credit rating was downgraded to BBB- from BBB by S&P, with BBB- just one notch above junk. Moody’s downgraded SVB’s credit rating to Baa1 from A3, citing a recession in funding, liquidity, and profitability.