The U.S. Labor Department granted JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and three other global banks multiyear waivers permitting their asset management units to continue managing pension plans and individual retirement accounts, The Wall Street Journal reports. The banks' criminal convictions for market manipulation would have disqualified their asset management units from managing retirement plans under U.S. law, according to the report. JPMorgan, Citi and Barclays Plc were granted five-year waivers. Deutsche Bank AG and UBS Group AG, both of which had more than one criminal conviction, were granted three-year waivers, the Journal added.
In asset management news, Harbinger Capital Partners LLC is seeking more than $1.9 billion in damages from Apollo Global Management LLC over alleged false material statements related to SkyTerra. In the lawsuit, Harbinger claimed that despite knowing that severe material defects would prevent the building of SkyTerra's multibillion telecommunications network, Apollo concealed these problems and led the hedge fund to invest nearly $2 billion and purchase Apollo's entire interest in SkyTerra. An Apollo spokesman said the company believes the suit lacks merit and intends to defend itself.
In regulatory news, National Credit Union Administration Chairman J. Mark McWatters is included in the shortlist of candidates for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director, American Banker reports, citing "industry observers." McWatters began serving as NCUA chairman in June.
In other parts of the world
Asia Pacific: Nomura eyes China retail brokerage biz, to boost US ops; Sri Lanka holds rates
Europe: Bankia, BMN merger cleared; Banco BPM completes deal; Italy heads for elections
Middle East & Africa: Liberia gets new president; Rwanda cuts rate; Saudi-Sudan banking ties restored
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.19% to 29,919.15, while the Nikkei 225 slipped 0.08% to 22,764.94.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.40% to 7,653.21, while the Euronext 100 was down 0.13% to 1,035.69.
On the macro front
The Baker-Hughes Rig Count report is due out today.
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