Macquarie Group's Stock Posts Its Worst Five-Day Slump Since March 2009

Macquarie Group Ltd., Australia’s biggest investment bank, posted its biggest five-day slump in 15 months in Sydney trading after analysts cut ratings and forecasts for the stock, and senior bankers quit.

The stock has dropped 13 percent since June 21, the worst five-day decline since March 2009 and more than double the 5 percent drop in the S&P/ASX 200 index. The shares today fell 1.4 percent to A$38.95 while the benchmark lost 0.7 percent.

Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the stock while JPMorgan Chase & Co. and UBS AG reduced price targets after Macquarie said June 24 that uncertain markets were weighing on some parts of the business and short-term forecasting was “difficult.” Two months earlier, the Sydney-based bank predicted better performances from all its divisions this financial year.

“Management appear to be saying the market conditions make it hard for them to repeat this guidance,” Matthew Davison, a Melbourne-based analyst at Bank of America Corp., said in a June 25 report.

Macquarie told employees last week that Andrew Low, chief operating officer of the investment banking division, quit to pursue a new business opportunity. Jim Rossman, U.S. equity capital markets chief, and David Baron, head of U.S. financial sponsors coverage, are among others to have left the bank, people familiar with the matter said this month.

A “seemingly more pronounced level of departures” after bonuses were paid “will likely further inhibit the bank’s ability to win new business,” Citigroup Inc. said in a June 24 report.

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