MF Global Shares Hit All-Time Low

Features Reuters

Shares of MF Global Holdings Ltd (MF) hit another all-time low Friday as troubles intensified for the U.S. futures brokerage that is looking to sell off units in order to retain customers, and to survive.

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The company run by former Goldman (GS) executive Jon Corzine has shed 62 percent of its market capitalization this week, after it posted a quarterly loss, and after two ratings agencies cut its debt rating to junk.

MF Global stock dropped as much as 27 percent early Friday to $1.04, its lowest ever, but rebounded to $1.40 on the New York Stock Exchange later in the morning.

Some customers are diverting money from the New York-based brokerage, according to hedge funds, rivals, and analysts, though the extent of the outflows remained unclear.

MF Global tapped Evercore to advise it on strategic options including a possible sale, said a source familiar with the situation.

A second source, who was briefed on the matter, said the company is ``focused on doing a smart deal, a fair deal,'' and that it did not enter the talks with ``specific targets and objectives.''

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``We believe MF could generate proceeds from sale of its customer asset portfolio or Futures Commission Merchant which frees up capital,'' Keefe Bruyette & Woods analyst Niamh Alexander wrote to clients.

``However, we cannot quantify the cost of wind down or exiting broker positions that could offset those proceeds and wipe out equity,'' she wrote.