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Tuesday Express: Blucora buying HK Financial Services; Argo shutting Miami ops

* Blucora, a provider of tax-smart financial solutions, agreed to acquire HK Financial Services, a privately held registered investment adviser. The deal, which is being structured as a stock purchase with a price of $160 million, will boost Blucora's total client assets by about $4.4 billion to more than $72 billion, with approximately 42% in advisory assets.

* Citigroup plans to add 2,500 programmers for its Institutional Clients Group, the unit that houses its traders and investment bankers, Bloomberg News reports, citing Stuart Riley, global head of operations and technology for the group. The new recruits will reportedly be based in London, New York, Shanghai, Toronto, Dublin, Tel Aviv, Pune and Chennai in India, and Tampa, Fla., and will work on projects, including solutions in equities and fixed income.

* Big banks, including Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, are ramping up research into quantum computing, as the new technology is expected to become critical in transforming activities like risk management and trading, boosting computing resources and reducing the time taken to analyze complex risk positions, the Financial Times reports.

* Toronto-based Bank of Nova Scotia disclosed certain items, including the realization of a net gain of about C$410 million after tax on the sale of its 49% interest in Thailand-based Thanachart Bank, which will cumulatively benefit its first-quarter reported results by about C$175 million after tax.

* According to data shared with S&P Global Market Intelligence by the Sustainable Investments Institute, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's proposal aimed at increasing the eligibility threshold for shareholder resolutions, would have blocked more than 600 environmental, social and governance resolutions since 2010.

* Argo Group International Holdings is winding up its operations in Miami, The Insurance Insider reported. The insurer reportedly wrote around $12 million of business across professional liability, casualty, and marine and energy out of Miami in 2019.

* Tiptree subsidiary Tiptree Warranty Holdings on Jan. 3 acquired all outstanding equity interests of Smart AutoCare and affiliated entities in an all-cash deal. The acquired entities include Accelerated Service Enterprise, SAC Holdings, Dealer Motor Services, Independent Dealer Group, Ownershield, Freedom Insurance, SAC Admin, SAC Insurance, Smart AutoCare and Smart AutoCare Administration Solutions.

The Daily Dose: Express Edition is updated as of 6:30 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.