Although the rumor was running rampant throughout the industry last week, it appears as though Bank of America Corp. is not interested in acquiring or embarking on a joint venture with mortgage giant Countrywide Financial Corp. Analysts noted last week that it's highly unlikely BofA would consider buying a mortgage lender that seeks to finance itself through bank deposits. At most, they said, the bank might consider something along the lines of outsourcing its mortgage processing to Countrywide.
Both companies intend to increase their capital markets presence in Europe and Asia this year, and, of interest to structured finance professionals, Countrywide is still planning on managing CDOs, setting up a structured finance fund and trading derivatives, Angelo Mozilo, chief executive of the Calabasas, Calif.-based mega-lender said Wednesday at Citigroup's financial services conference in New York. Countrywide also wants to increase its share of third-party MBS and ABS underwriting. And, as Countrywide is planning a continued focus on its Asian offices, BofA is thinking of investing $300 million to $400 million for capital markets development in Europe and Asia "over the next several years," BofA's Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis said at the same conference.