September 15, 2008 / 7:10 AM / in 9 years

Wilbur Ross sees about 1,000 bank closures: report

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<p>Wilbur L. Ross Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of WL Ross &amp; Co. LLC., a billionaire financier known for his investments in the U.S. steel, coal and auto parts industries, speaks with Reuters during a visit to Dearborn, Michigan January 11, 2006.Rebecca Cook</p>

(Reuters) - Wilbur Ross, founder of private equity firm WL Ross & Co LLC, expects as many as a thousand U.S. bank closures in the coming months, CNBC said on its website on Monday.

The billionaire investor, who made his fortune making investments on distressed industries, said the closures will create opportunities for investors, CNBC said, adding that he is looking at picking up smaller distressed institutions.

"I do think a lot of the regional ones will (close), just as they did in the last savings and loan crisis in the 1990s," the website quoted Ross saying.

Ross said there will be too many people willing to provide capital to the large financial companies, making them less of a bargain than smaller banks, according to the website.

Reporting by Varsha Tickoo in Bangalore; Editing by David Holmes

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