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Virginia banks in $21.4M deal; bank trading rules set for overhaul


Insight Weekly: US bank stress tests; cracks in housing market; summer energy supply risks


Breaking into Europe’s Digital Infrastructure Markets: Drivers & Trends


Insight Weekly: US inflation soars; real estate faces slowdown; megadeals drive tech M&A


Breaking into Europe’s Digital Infrastructure Markets: Drivers & Trends

Virginia banks in $21.4M deal; bank trading rules set for overhaul

In Virginia, C&F Financial Corp. is buying Peoples Bankshares Inc. and its subsidiary, Peoples Community Bank in a stock and cash deal valued at about $21.4 million. The in-state deal is expected to close in early 2020. Based on financial data as of June 30, the combined company will have $1.8 billion in assets.

Elsewhere, in Illinois, Illinois Bank & Trust agreed to acquire substantially all the assets and assume all deposits and certain other liabilities of Rockford Bank and Trust Co., a unit of QCR Holdings Inc. Based on Rockford Bank and Trust's balance sheet as of June 30, the purchase price premium would be $13.4 million and the total payment would be $59.2 million. The deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter.

And in Columbus, Ohio, Whitehall CU will become part of Pathways Financial CU Inc. effective Sept. 28. The Whitehall branch will re-open as a branch of Pathways Financial on Sept. 30.

The Federal Reserve, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission are together poised to ease up the Volcker rule, by loosening restrictions on banks investing their own money in private equity and hedge funds, sources told Bloomberg News. The regulators are reportedly inclined to change the definition of proprietary trading, currently prohibited by the Dodd-Frank Act, according to the news outlet. The FDIC's board plans to consider changes to the Volcker rule on Aug. 20.

The SEC will weigh in on whether to publish new guidance on the responsibilities of investors when relying on proxy advisers, Reuters reports, citing a notice on the regulator's website. Groups representing listed companies have argued that SEC rules have permitted too much interference of special interests in their boardrooms, as proxy advisers give stockholders recommendations on how to vote on management issues ranging from pay and diversity to gun rights and climate change. While the SEC has not specified what guidance it would publish, sources for Reuters said the regulator might clarify that investors need not submit votes for every share they own.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency published in the Federal Register a final rule on the validation and approval of third-party credit score models that government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can use. The rule takes effect 60 days after publication.

House Financial Services Committee Chair Maxine Waters, D-Calif., and Rep. Joyce Beatty, D.-Ohio, asked U.S. banking giants JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Wells Fargo & Co., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon Corp. and State Street Corp. to disclose their diversity and inclusion data and polices from 2015 to present. Waters and Beatty noted that not one of the companies has a female or minority CEO, that women and minorities account for only about one-fourth of their senior leadership, and that the big banks devote less than 1% of spending to diverse asset managers and suppliers, among other things.

JPMorgan stands to make a windfall to the tune of $123 million from advising Botox-maker Allergan Inc. on its planned $63 billion sale to U.S. pharmaceutical group AbbVie Inc., Financial Times reports. It would be the biggest individual fee to a bank for selling a company, even beating Morgan Stanley's $120 million fee for advising U.S. agribusiness Monsanto on its $66 billion sale to German firm Bayer in 2016, the news outlet noted, citing data from Dealogic.

Digital lender Social Finance Inc. co-founder and former CEO Mike Cagney is raising more than $100 million for his new startup, San Francisco-based Figure Technologies Inc., which got a $1 billion valuation less than two years since its founding, sources told Bloomberg News.

The U.S. consumer price index is estimated to have accelerated by 0.3% in July and risen 1.7% year on year, but this does not lower the chances of the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates again in its next meeting in September, economists polled by Reuters said. The continuing trade row between the U.S. and China have become more threatening and points to this possibility, the news outlet reports, citing Ryan Sweet of Moody's Analytics.

In other parts of the world

Europe: Orcel interested in top HSBC role; MPS sells bad loans; PKO posts profit rise

Asia-Pacific: NAB Q3 earnings up 1% YOY; HK IPOs decline; Singapore cuts economic forecast

Middle East & Africa: Absa H1 results up; Plus500 shrugs off profit plunge; Swiss Re in Cote d'Ivoire

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Big-ticket M&A, high-profile IPOs highlight dealmaking landscape: The second quarter of 2019 saw a number of high-profile initial public offerings and acquisition announcements, but the pace of M&A and follow-on offerings continued to sag.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng ticked 0.08% higher to 25,302.28, while the Nikkei 225 gained 0.98% to 20,655.13.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.97% to 7,180.47, and the Euronext 100 dropped 1.25% to 1,028.66.

On the macro front

The U.S. import and export prices report, the Atlanta Fed business inflation expectations report and the U.S. Energy Information Administration petroleum status report 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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