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2 Iowa banks merging; Deutsche Bank plans layoffs at US unit

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2 Iowa banks merging; Deutsche Bank plans layoffs at US unit

Deutsche Bank AG plans to lay off employees at its loss-making U.S. equities business as it prepares to make tough cutbacks and win over shareholders dissatisfied with the German lender's performance, sources told Reuters. The bank is looking to cut jobs at the business' prime brokerage and equity derivatives divisions, and has earmarked other areas, including U.S. trading, for further cuts.

Also, Baltimore-based asset management firm Legg Mason Inc. will trim 12% of its workforce, including four top executives, as part of a cost-cutting initiative, Bloomberg News reports, citing a company memo. Earlier, the company had announced plans to cut its running costs through centralization of operations, such as technology, fund administration, and human resources.

Farmers & Merchants State Bank of Neola Iowa and Midstates Bank NA are merging in a deal expected to close Aug. 30. The combined institution will have more than $575 million in assets.

In litigation news, federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged Stephen Calk, an executive of the Federal Savings Bank in Chicago and former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, with one count of financial institution bribery for allegedly giving $16 million in loans to Paul Manafort, former Trump campaign chairman, to obtain a senior post in the Trump administration, The Wall Street Journal reports. If convicted, Calk would face a maximum prison sentence of 30 years.

In an update in the trial of former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. banker Roger Ng with regards to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal, the judge extended the time period for prosecutors to present evidence before the defence, the Financial Times reports. The next hearing is scheduled for July 9. Ng has pleaded not guilty to allegations of bribery and money laundering in the 1MDB case.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed a civil injustice action against California resident Daniel Pacheco for running a fraudulent multimillion-dollar pyramid scheme. The SEC's complaint alleged that Pacheco raised more than $26 million through two California-based companies he owns, IPro Solutions LLC and IPro Network LLC under the guise of offering instructional packages on e-commerce, but misappropriated the funds for personal expenses thus constituting an unregistered sale of securities.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut business ties with Purdue Pharma LP in light of potential reputational risks associated with the backlash against the OxyContin maker that faces several lawsuits for allegedly stoking the U.S. opioid crisis, sources for Reuters say.

Robert Kaplan, president of Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, said he is at ease with keeping the interest rates unmoved for now, but that he is worried that uncertainty pertaining to the ongoing U.S.-China trade battle may slow down economic growth, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Hedge fund manager David Tepper is planning to convert his $13 billion hedge fund Appaloosa LP into a family office to manage his personal wealth, sources told The Wall Street Journal. A schedule for returning clients' money has yet to be set, according to the report.

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: Nomura Securities faces penalty; South Korean securities firm sells assets

Europe: Deutsche pledges tough cutbacks; BNP eyes German growth; LCF collapse probed

Middle East & Africa: PE firms to take over Phoenix; Egypt holds rates; Moody's downgrades Zambia

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Credit union early adopts CECL, finds that 'This isn't a big deal': The CFO of Georgia United CU, which has already adopted the current expected credit loss, or CECL, standard, called the switch easy, regulators helpful and the benefits immediate.

Bank M&A 2019 Deal Tracker: Deal volume in Q2 still lagging: Year-to-date through May 15, 81 U.S. bank and thrift deals had been announced, down from 90 in the year-ago period.

Consumer deposit fees drop at US banks, thrifts in Q1'19: Total consumer deposit fees declined at U.S. banks and thrifts to $4.17 billion in the first quarter from $4.57 billion in the last quarter of 2018 and $4.23 billion in the year-ago period.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng rose 0.32% to 27,353.93, while the Nikkei 225 was down 0.16% to 21,117.22.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.75% to 7,285.09, and the Euronext 100 increased 0.37% to 1,039.60.

On the macro front

The durable goods orders report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count 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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