* Morgan Stanley is cutting about 1,500 jobs globally, representing nearly 2% of the investment bank's workforce, sources told Bloomberg News. The firm reportedly plans to take a fourth-quarter charge of $150 million to $200 million related to the cost of the cuts.
* Confirming a recent media report, Cboe Global Markets announcement an agreement to acquire pan-European equities clearing house European Central Counterparty for an undisclosed amount.
* In Texas, BancAffiliated is buying Southwest Bank from in-state peer Odessa SouthWest Bancshares in a stock-and-cash transaction expected to close in the second quarter of 2020.
* ArrowMark Partners agreed to acquire the platform and assets of StoneCastle Asset Management, the external investment adviser of StoneCastle Financial, through its subsidiary, StoneCastle-ArrowMark Asset Management.
* In its Semiannual Risk Perspective, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency described the financial performance of banks as sound due partly to a favorable credit environment and economic growth in the U.S., but flagged key risks to the industry from technological advancement and innovation in core banking systems, cyclical changes and volatility in interest rates.
* More than 80 Japanese banks have expressed willingness to join JPMorgan's blockchain technology-powered Interbank Information Network in a bid to fight money laundering and terrorism financing, Bloomberg News reports, citing Daizaburo Sanai, an executive director at the bank.
* JPMorgan is seeking to raise as much as $1 billion for a mezzanine fund through its asset and wealth management arm that would provide funding to companies using a hybrid of equity and debt, sources told Bloomberg News.
* Pre-trial hearings on the Australian criminal cartel lawsuit against Citigroup and Deutsche Bank run the risk of extending to 2020 as defense lawyers complained Dec. 9 that the prosecution had given them a late-night redacted key witness statement the night before, Reuters reports.
* French markets regulator Autorité des marchés financiers, or AMF, fined Morgan Stanley's U.K-based unit Morgan Stanley & Co. International PLC €20 million for manipulating the price of 14 French government bonds and eight Belgian bonds, as well as prices of French sovereign bonds futures contracts.
* Sterling Bank and Trust, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sterling Bancorp, on Dec. 9 voluntarily and temporarily suspended its Advantage Loan program as the program goes through an internal review of its documentation procedures. It is currently "difficult to estimate" how long the program may remain suspended, the company said in a regulatory filing.
* Invesco founder and former Chairman and CEO Charles Brady died Dec. 7 in Atlanta. He was 84.
* On the insurance front, Canadian regulators approved Genworth Financial's pending sale of a majority stake in Genworth MI Canada to Brookfield Business Partners.
* The size of Axa XL-sponsored Galileo Re Ltd. series 2019-1 catastrophe bond is expected to settle at $475 million, significantly lower than the initial target of $575 million, Artemis reports.
* U.S. commercial insurance prices were more than 4% higher in the third quarter versus prices a year ago, marking the largest overall price shift since 2013, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson.
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