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News Link • Economy - Economics USA

The Canary In Coalmine: Bank OZK Plummets After Shock Commercial Real Estate Write Downs

•, by Tyler Durden

In what may be the deadest canary in the commercial real estate coal mine yet, Bank OZK shares have plunged 26% today after the bank reported abysmal third-quarter earnings that trailed expectations, with net income tumbling but what caught traders' attention was two commercial real estate charge-offs of $45.5 million on the bank's Real Estate Specialties Group (RESG) credits for unrelated projects in South and North Carolina.

The Little Rock-based regional bank, with just over $22 billion in assets, also reported that net income declined 23% to $74.2 million in its third quarter from the same period in 2017 due to these write-offs. Bank OZK's earnings have been closely monitored by analysts since it is such an active real estate lender. The bank reported that the two write-offs during the third quarter were in its Real Estate Specialties Group ("RESG") portfolio and were related to properties in South Carolina and North Carolina from loans originated in 2007 and 2008, the Real Deal reported.

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