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NY banks in $106.8M deal; Thomson Reuters responds to media report on CEO search


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NY banks in $106.8M deal; Thomson Reuters responds to media report on CEO search

De Witt, N.Y.-based Community Bank System Inc. agreed to acquire Hornell, N.Y.-based Steuben Trust Corp. in a cash-and-stock deal valued at about $106.8 million. Steuben Trust shareholders will receive a combination of $12.60 in cash and 0.8054 of a Community Bank System common share for each Steuben Trust common share they own.

Elsewhere in California, San Diego-based Bank of Southern California NA agreed to acquire Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.-based CalWest Bancorp in an all-cash deal valued at about $32 million.

Old National Bancorp reported third-quarter EPS of 41 cents, up from 34 cents in the year-ago period. Community Bank System posted third-quarter adjusted net income of $45.8 million, or 88 cents per share, up from $44.0 million, or 84 cents per share, a year ago.

In response to a media report about engaging a search firm to find its new CEO, Thomson Reuters Corp. said succession planning for key executives is just part of good governance. The Financial Times reported, citing four sources, that the company had hired Spencer Stuart to shortlist internal and external candidates to succeed CEO James Smith, but that the transition was unlikely in 2019. Co-COO Neil Masterson was reportedly one of the internal candidates.

Facebook Inc. is open to the idea that its proposed digital currency project, Libra, could use cryptocurrencies based on national currencies like the dollar instead of the synthetic cryptocurrency it had earlier proposed, Reuters reports, quoting David Marcus, who heads the Libra project for the social media giant. Facebook is still aiming for Libra's 2020 launch but wants to address all legitimate concerns and get proper regulatory approval before going forward, the news outlet quotes Marcus as saying.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has put an investment banker on leave following the staff's arrest and release on $250,000 bail Oct. 18 for figuring in alleged insider trading activity, Reuters reports, citing Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Nicole Sharp. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission had also sued the investment banker, Bryan Cohen, for improperly using insider information that helped a co-conspirator make at least $2.6 million in illicit profits.

Douglas Hodge, former CEO of Pacific Investment Management Co. LLC, or Pimco, is set to plead guilty today to charges that he was involved in an alleged college bribery scheme to secure the admission of students to top universities across the U.S.

Reps. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., and Kathleen Rice, D-N.Y., are urging the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to examine whether insider trading played a role in a handful of large S&P 500 e-mini futures trades that were mentioned in a recent Vanity Fair article. According to the report, five trades ranging from 55,000 to 420,000 contracts of CME Group Inc.-owned derivative product were executed moments before market-moving events, suggesting the possibility that the traders behind those deals could have had inside information about a drone attack on Saudi Arabian oil fields, the U.S.-China trade war and the withdrawal of the extradition bill in Hong Kong. Those trades, which occurred between June 28 and Sept. 13, would have collectively generated about $3.75 billion in profits.

The Supreme Court will consider a case that challenges the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's structure and independence, especially if the president of the United States can remove the head of the agency at will, a provision lawmakers decided against in the Dodd-Frank Act in order to insulate the bureau from political pressures. The plaintiff in the case, Seila Law LLC, gained the support in September of the Department of Justice and CFPB Director Kathleen Kraninger, who agreed that a president should be able to fire a director of the agency.

The Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation are seeking public comment on the Uniform Financial Institutions Rating System, also known as CAMELS, which examiners use to grade banks' soundness and risk. CAMELS evaluates banks' capital, asset quality, management, earnings, liquidity and sensitivity to market risk. The regulators want to see the implications of those ratings on the enforcement action processes to bring more transparency to the system and whether the ratings are consistently assigned to all banks.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: China opens dual-class stocks to onshore buyers; Australian superfunds debut JV

Europe: Wirecard audit; Citi's confidence in London; Munich Re set to beat €2.5B target

Middle East & Africa: Egypt inks deal with Euroclear; Lebanon agrees on economic reforms

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

As cannabis bill advances in Congress, banks see chance to improve ag lending: As agriculture producers face headwinds from tariffs and severe weather, some are turning to hemp and marijuana crops to help offset downturns.

Update: Fed officials 'tight-lipped' about next move but open to October cut: In their last remarks before their next decision, Federal Reserve officials expressed an openness to lowering interest rates again this month but avoided committing to any actions.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.08% to 26,740.24, while the Nikkei 225 inched up 0.25% to 22,548.90.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.12% to 7,159.47, while the Euronext 100 was up 0.14% to 1,090.88.

On the macro front

No notable reports are due out today.

Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.

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