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Citi to sell Asia payment processing biz; First Cash, Cash America to combine in tax free, all-stock deal


Banking Essentials Newsletter: 7th February Edition

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Citi to sell Asia payment processing biz; First Cash, Cash America to combine in tax free, all-stock deal

is still slimmingdown, and its Asiapayment processing business is now up for sale, say sources for Reuters.

Closer to home,a pawn shop merger of equalsis in the works. First CashFinancial Services Inc. and CashAmerica International Inc. agreed to combine in a tax free,all-stock transaction. The pro forma market value of equity of the transactionis valued at approximately $2.4billion. Both report earnings today.

Cash America has reported first-quarter net income of 42cents per share, up from the year-ago period's 27 cents per share.First Cash posted EPS of 47cents, reflecting a 1-cent-per-share hit from acquisition costs.

Anotheracquisition in the specialty lendingscene is Affirm Inc'spurchase of SweepInc., the personal finance management app firm. Sweep's current app will stopworking May 26, and a combined product will be released later this year. Affirmwas founded by PayPal's Max Levchin, and its loans are made by New Jersey-basedCross River Bank.

Meanwhile,Citi Ventures has made a strategicinvestment in online lender BlueVine.

And the CFPB'sproposal to supervisebig installment and vehicle title lenders will rope in as well. If things go asplanned, they fall under CFPB jurisdiction late next year.

In Minnesota banking news, will be by of Wisconsin. Thecredit union, however, will only service the assets and liabilities out ofCapital Bank's St. Paul branch. Capital Bank retains ownership of the locationsin rural areas of Minnesota, Iowa and North Dakota.

Pennsylvania-basedNova Bank back in 2012, and theFDIC never found a buyer for it. Now a federal jury has found former ChairmanBarry Bekkedam and former CEO Brian Hartline guilty of TARP fraud. They will be sentenced in July.

WhenGoldman Sachs Group Inc.opened itself up to deposits on Monday, it added thousands of new accounts,sources for The Wall Street Journalsay. Now being mulled by higher-ups: checkingaccounts and electronic bill payments.

Here's anupdate on the co-branded cardcompetition: Cabela's card division has attracted bidsfrom Citi, Bank of America Corp.,Capital One Financial Corp.,Toronto-Dominion Bankand Synchrony Financial,say sources for Reuters.

Love or hateBrian Moynihan, 94% of BofA's shareholders voted in favor of his . Remember that Citi'sCorbat got 64%.

And on today'searly earnings slate: , , , , ,Diebold Inc. andBofI Holding Inc.

In other parts of the world

TheReserve Bank of New Zealand has maintained the official cash rate at 2.25%.The central bank added that long-term inflation expectations are well anchoredat 2%.

American ExpressCo. will launch Samsung Pay inAustralia soon, following Apple Pay's successful entry into the country, ZDNetreports, citing a statement from the bank.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development warnedthat a vote by the U.K. to leave the EU would cause a "severe negativeshock" to the economy and weaken the country's GDP growth "for manyyears." The OECD said a Brexit would immediately hit confidence and raiseuncertainty, which would result in GDP being 3% lower by 2020.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, theHang Seng rose 0.12% to 21,388.03, while the Nikkei 225 was down 3.61% to16,666.05.

In Europe, asof midday, the FTSE 100 was down 1.14% to 6,247.99, and the Euronext 100 fell1.25% to 881.01.

On the macro front

The GDPreport, the jobless claims report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supplyreport are due out today.

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