SVB Bonds the US Says Will Be ‘Wiped Out’ Gain in Rare Session

(Bloomberg) -- As US government officials pledged to fully protect all depositors of the failed Silicon Valley Bank, they had a specific message for investors in the bonds and shares of the bank’s holding company.

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They’ll be ‘wiped out,” a senior Treasury official said in a call with reporters late Sunday.

That message hadn’t gotten out to bond trading desks across Wall Street, where in a rare Sunday session, bonds were being quoted at prices that were higher than where they changed hands on Friday, according to people with knowledge of activity in the market.

At least a handful of dealers were making markets Sunday in the bonds of the bank’s parent, SVB Financial Group, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the trading activity is private.

Some investors were seeing the bank’s senior unsecured bonds being offered at more than 50 cents on the dollar on Sunday afternoon. That’s higher than the roughly 37 cent- to 42-cent cent prices at which the bonds changed hands at the end of Friday, according to prices compiled by the US trade reporting system known as Trace.

It’s unclear how much, if any, SVB bonds actually traded on Sunday. And many bond investors were struggling to value the debt on a day when news changed quickly. Investors and credit graders expect the holding company will be put into Chapter 11 bankruptcy after the government seizure of its banking operations.

That would leave ultimate recoveries at the mercy of US courts and whatever value creditors can squeeze from the remaining assets of that entity.

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