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The Monday Express: North American financials


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Street Talk | Episode 98: Regulatory scrutiny having cooling effect on community bank M&A


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The Monday Express: North American financials

* Sources told The New York Times that President Donald Trump is expected to nominate Randal Quarles and Marvin Goodfriend to the Federal Reserve Board to create "conservative counterweights" to Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen's policies.

* Goldman Sachs Asset Management executives were informed of the company's controversial purchase of Venezuelan state oil company bonds only after the deal had been completed, and were "caught off guard" by the criticism following the transaction, "people familiar with the matter" told The Wall Street Journal.

* Shareholders of Crossroads Capital voted to no longer have the company operate as a business development company, and are expected to approve the company's conversion into a liquidating trust on June 23.

* Arbor Realty Trust exercised the option to purchase — for $25 million plus certain accrued and unpaid compensation and reimbursable expenses — the existing management contract and fully internalize the management structure related to its July 2016 acquisition of Arbor Commercial Mortgage's agency platform.

* KCG Holdings' plans to shut down unit KCG Asia Pacific, dispose of its foreign-exchange market making business and reduce workforce by 12% will cost between $18 million and $20 million on a pretax basis.

* S&P Global Ratings affirmed its BBB- issuer credit rating on Astoria Financial and removed the ratings from CreditWatch with developing implications.

* On insurance, two of Assured Guaranty's bond insurance units filed an adversary complaint in the Federal District Court in Puerto Rico, challenging the legality of the commonwealth's decision to divert special revenue bond collateral from the payment of bonds issued by the Puerto Rico Highways and Transportation Authority to other allegedly "unauthorized" uses.

* The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation approved Southern Oak Insurance's removal of up to 10,000 coastal account policies and up to 5,000 personal lines account policies from Citizens Property Insurance as well as National Specialty Insurance's removal of up to 4,520 coastal account policies.

* After ACE positioned itself to emerge as the market leader in the high-net-worth space with two deals, existing providers and new market participants have stepped up their efforts in the high-net-worth business or established a new market presence.

* Fintech startup Coinbase is in discussions with potential investors on a new funding round at a valuation exceeding $1 billion, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

S&P Global Ratings and S&P Global Market Intelligence are owned by S&P Global Inc.

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