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SEC awards Merrill Lynch whistleblowers $83M; Powell's 1st Fed meeting today


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SEC awards Merrill Lynch whistleblowers $83M; Powell's 1st Fed meeting today

The Federal Open Market Committee's two-day policy meeting the first under Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell — begins today. The Federal Reserve is generally expected to raise the federal funds rate by 25 basis points when its meeting concludes on March 21, and analysts say the bigger question is whether Fed officials are likely to signal a fourth increase this year.

Three whistleblowers who exposed "long-running misconduct" at Bank of America Corp.'s Merrill Lynch are set to receive awards totaling more than $83 million from the Securities and Exchange Commission. The total amount represents the highest whistleblower award given by the regulator since the program started in 2012.

In people news, IBERIABANK appointed Monica Sylvain executive vice president and chief diversity officer. Prior to joining the Lafayette, La.-based bank, Sylvain founded and led Posse New Orleans.

In Florida, an investor group is filing for a state bank charter for Gulfside Bank, which is targeted to open in the fourth quarter, the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune reports. Tim Clarke, who will serve as the chairman of the new bank, indicated the possibility of the bank trying to raise start-up capital in the range of $20 million.

And in M&A news, Greenwich, Conn.-based specialty finance company CNH Finance LP is buying Portland, Ore.-based Triumph Healthcare Finance, a division of TBK Bank SSB.

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: Bandhan Bank IPO 14.6x oversubscribed on final day; ANZ weighs NZ unit's float

Europe: EU, UK reach Brexit transition deal; RBS mulls online bank; HSBC eyes $4B CoCos

Middle East & Africa: Kenya rate cut for 1st time since 2016; Saudi eyes Tadawul-only Aramco IPO

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a mixed opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.11% to 31,549.93, while the Nikkei 225 dropped to 0.47% to 21,380.97.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.19% to 7,055.97 and the Euronext 100 increased to 0.22% to 1,021.43.

On the macro front

The Redbook is due out today.

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