The Bank Slate


First Bancshares in Miss. sells securities, repays Fed borrowings

First Bancshares in Hattiesburg, Miss., joined the growing list of banks repositioning securities during the fourth quarter.

The $7.9 billion-asset company said in a press release that it sold $123 million of available-for-sale securities at a pretax loss of $9.7 million. It reinvested $93 million of the proceeds in higher-yielding securities and repaid $30 million of borrowings from the Federal Reserve’s Bank Term Funding Program.

The moves are expected to increase the net interest margin by 8 basis points and net interest income by $4.7 million annually. It should take about two years to earn back the costs tied to the restructuring.

The sales represent less than 7% of the company’s securities and less than 4% of unrealized losses reported for Sept. 30, according to Janney Montgomery Scott.

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