Energy Loan Woes Weigh on Financial ETFs

“We still continue to believe that energy exposure is a major overhang on the shares of Wells Fargo, despite the recent increase in the price of oil,” Keefe, Bruyette & Woods analysts said in a note. “[T]here is a fear in the market that bankruptcies and restructuring in the energy sector will increase and Wells may be disproportionately affected by the increase given the growth the company saw within middle market energy credits.”

Related: Struggle and Trouble Ahead for Bank ETFs?

WFC is among the biggest components in the financial sector ETFs, accounting for 7.9% of XLF’s underlying portfolio, 5.9% of IYF and 6.4% of VFH.

Nevertheless, some see light at the end of the tunnel as oil prices rebounded in recent weeks.

“Exposure to the energy sector is considerable,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a recent report, adding “this we believe to be a manageable risk.”

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