Ken Odeluga, July 11th 2014
- US Regulators, German banks inch toward Settlements
- FCA losing Patience with Asset Managers
- US ExIm closure could hit Boeing -FT
- SSP Group IPO Priced at Lower End of Range
- Middle East, Africa:
- 53 Blindfolded Bodies Found south of Baghdad
- 35,000 displaced by Yemen Conflict -Agency
- Dutch Special Forces in Mali
M2 – Banking
US Regulators, Commerzbank, Deutsche inch toward Settlements
U.S. state and federal authorities have begun settlement talks with Commerzbank and Deutsche Bank over their dealings with countries blacklisted by the United States, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a source with direct knowledge of the regulatory investigations. The New York Times had first revealed the existence of talks between regulators and Commerzbank on Monday, citing people briefed about the matter.
The settlement talks have just begun and the timing of the deal is unclear at this time, the person told Reuters.
Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank declined to comment.
The New York Times said a deal with Commerzbank could be struck as soon as this summer.
Commerzbank, accused by U.S. authorities of transferring money through its U.S. operations on behalf of companies in Iran and Sudan, could pay at least $500 million in penalties, the New York Times reported.
The No.2 German lender would likely face a so-called deferred prosecution agreement that would suspend criminal charges in exchange for the financial penalty and other concessions, the report said.
A potential deal with Commerzbank, which is expected to pave the way for a separate settlement with Deutsche Bank, would pale in comparison to the deal with France’s BNP Paribas SA , the NYT said.
FCA losing Patience with Asset Managers
An asset management firm has been told to repay customers after using their money to settle its market data bill, Britain’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said on Thursday, in a crackdown on commission charges.
The watchdog’s chief executive acknowledged it is losing patience with firms that fail to comply with stricter rules imposed to help safeguard the UK’s position as a leading centre for asset.
British asset managers pay brokers about £3 billion a year in dealing commission, which is passed on to customers, but FCA investigations found that many firms have been using this as cover to get customers to pay for market data and research of questionable value.
Only trading fees and useful research can be passed on to customers as dealing commission, but the watchdog’s CEO Martin Wheatley said the review of 17 investment managers and 13 brokers found that only two investment managers were fully in line with the new rules.
Given poor compliance with the regulations, Wheatley said that the FCA is now backing a European Union law to separate research and trading fees to encourage greater competition and transparency.
US ExIm closure could hit Boeing -FT
Dissolution of the US’s Export-Import Bank could have a “significant” long-term impact on Boeing, the commercial aircraft maker which receives more than a third of the bank’s credit, according to the Financial Times, which cites a report by Standard & Poor’s.
Boeing could be forced to finance more of its overseas sales directly, says FT, and Boeing could find itself in a more difficult financing position than Airbus, its European rival, when negotiating aircraft sales, the paper adds.
FT notes that ExIm, the US export credit agency, has been caught in the crossfire of the latest political shootout between Republicans affiliated with the Tea Party movement, who want to shut down or reform the bank, and the party’s business-friendly party moderates.
To stay in operation ExIm needs to be reauthorised by Congress by September 30.
Source: Financial Times
M2 – IPOs
SSP Group IPO Priced at Lower End of Range
Takeaway food and coffee company SSP Group has set the offer price for its listing on the London Stock Exchange at 210 pence a shares, at the low end of the previously mooted price range, the company said on Thursday.
SSP, which owns the Upper Crust and Caffe Ritazza brands, said it would raise £482 million giving the company a stock market value of £997 million. Conditional dealings in the shares began on Thursday.
The group’s advisors had narrowed the price range to between 210p and 230p, from between 200p and 240p set at the start of the flotation.
Middle East, Africa
53 Blindfolded Bodies Found south of Baghdad
Iraqi security forces found 53 corpses, blindfolded and handcuffed, in a town south of Baghdad early on Wednesday, local officials said.
They said the bodies had been left in the mainly Shi’ite Muslim village of Khamissiya, about 25 km (15 miles) southeast of the city of Hilla, near the main highway running from the capital to the southern provinces.
The head of the provincial council, local police and the governor’s office all confirmed the discovery of the bodies, but had no immediate information on the identity of the dead, who appeared to have been killed execution style.
The bodies were found at 2 a.m. (2300 GMT) on Wednesday, they said.
35,000 displaced by Yemen Conflict – Agency
More than 35,000 people have been displaced in Yemen’s Omran province, a local government refugee agency said on Wednesday, a day after Shi’ite Muslim tribal fighters overran the provincial capital following fighting that killed more than 200 people.
In an urgent appeal sent to relief organizations operating in Yemen, the head of the Yemeni government refugee agency in Omran reported “mass flight of Yemenis from Omran and surrounding areas after the city’s fall”.
“Based on the monitoring and follow-up that we have been doing, there are more than 35,000 people that have left for other areas in Omran or to the greater Sanaa area, Hajja and Mahaweet,” Mutahhar Yahya Abu Sheeha wrote in his appeal.
Dutch Special Forces in Mali
Dutch troops have joined a U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali to meet a growing security threat from the region to the Netherlands, and Europe as a whole, the Dutch foreign minister said.
The Netherlands has deployed some 450 Special Forces troops, intelligence operatives and attack helicopters to a U.N. force rolling out across northern Mali, where al Qaeda-linked Islamists occupied swathes of the country before being driven back last year by French troops.
Although Dutch forces do not have an offensive mandate, the deployment marks a shift towards security issues in Africa for the Netherlands and their task – gathering intelligence – is new to U.N. peacekeeping missions that have traditionally avoided the art of spying.