Bank of America CEO Expresses Approval of Planned Countrywide Purchase

Charlotte, N.C.– Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis reaffirmed his belief Monday that–despite housing market issues–purchasing mortgage company Countrywide Financial Corp. is still a solid investment, the New York Times said.Speaking to investors on a conference call sponsored by Deutsche Bank, Lewis said the housing market would pick up by early 2009. Countrywide’s sales force will help Charlotte-based Bank of America–the second largest U.S. bank–increase its market share in the mortgage industry, he said.The bank is purchasing Countrywide for roughly $4 billion; however, some fear Countrywide’s loan portfolio–along with the declining mortgage market–could cause expensive losses and hurt Bank of America’s earnings.