PIIGS Banks Hot Again, One Doubled in Two Weeks (AIB, IRE, NBG, STD, BBVA)

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The banks in the lands of the PIIGS are seeing some bids yet again today.  That makes three in a row of big moves in Ireland, and now we have Greece and Spain today.  Some of the aid is coming from bank debt swaps and bonuses in Ireland.  Greece has word of collateral for ECB funds.  The moves this morning are impressive, but only a fraction of the major gains seen in these issues since last week or two.

Irish banks are seeing a third very strong morning.  Allied Irish Banks plc (NYSE: AIB) is up 4.4% at $1.41 versus $0.92 just last week.  The Bank of Ireland (NYSE: IRE) is up 8.8% at $3.07, and if you can believe it the ADR closed at $1.44 just two weeks ago.

In Greece, the National Bank of Greece SA (NYSE: NBG) is up 2% at $1.96 in active trading pre-market, but these ADRs were at $1.72 ten days ago.  In Spain, Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: STD) is up 1.5% at $11.23 versus under $10.00 last week; and Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, S.A. (NYSE: BBVA) is up 1.3% at $10.69 versus $9.21 last week.

Suddenly it feels as though the world is not on fire again.  These banks have all been battered and bruised in 2010.  Still, a double from lows at the Bank of Ireland?

JON C. OGG