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Fidelity National, Worldpay to combine; Wells in talks to sell retirement biz

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Fidelity National, Worldpay to combine; Wells in talks to sell retirement biz

Financial technology firms Fidelity National Information Services Inc. and Worldpay Inc. are merging in a cash-and-stock deal that values Worldpay at an enterprise value of approximately $43 billion, including the assumption of Worldpay debt, which Fidelity expects to refinance. Upon closing, Fidelity shareholders will own approximately 53% and Worldpay shareholders will own approximately 47% of the combined company.

In other M&A news, investment management and insurance company Principal Financial Group Inc. is in advanced talks to acquire the retirement plan services business of banking giant Wells Fargo & Co. in a deal that could exceed $1 billion, unnamed sources told Reuters. If negotiations end successfully, a deal could be announced later in March, according to the report.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. have both disbanded the teams on their trading desks that handle smaller-size corporate bond transactions known as "odd lots" in recent months in favor of executing the trades electronically with the use of algorithms, unnamed sources told Business Insider.

In litigation news, a pretrial hearing date for Malaysia's criminal case against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in connection with the U.S. investment bank's role in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad embezzlement and bribery scandal has been set to June 24, Bloomberg News reports.

Chicago-based exchange Cboe Global Markets Inc. will not add new bitcoin futures contracts for trading in March and is "assessing its approach with respect to how it plans to continue to offer digital asset derivatives for trading."

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged Talimco LLC and its former COO, Grant Rogers, with manipulating the auction of a commercial real estate asset. As part of the cease-and-desist order issued to Talimco, the investment advisory firm will pay a $325,000 penalty. Rogers got a 12-month industry suspension and was ordered to pay a $65,000 fine.

In other regulatory news, the Federal Reserve, the Farm Credit Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have adopted an interim final rule to facilitate transfers of legacy swaps. The rule ensures that qualifying swaps may be transferred from a U.K. entity to an affiliate in the European Union or the U.S. without triggering new margin requirements. The federal agencies adopted the final rule in response to the possibility of a non-negotiated withdrawal of the U.K. from the EU.

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: IOOF faces shareholder class action; Jammu & Kashmir Bank to sell stake

Europe: Deutsche, Commerz in tie-up talks; Rabobank sells unit; ING Italy in hot water

Middle East & Africa: Crédit Agricole unit sells stake in Banque Saudi Fransi; 2 Kenyan banks to merge

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Credit quality improves at US credit unions, community banks in Q4'18: The net charge-off ratio at U.S. community banks fell 6 basis points year over year to 0.16%, while at credit unions it fell by 10 basis points to 0.60%.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng rose 1.37% to 29,409.01, while the Nikkei 225 gained 0.62% to 21,584.50.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased 0.59% to 7,271.06, and the Euronext 100 lifted 0.10% to 1,048.25.

On the macro front

The Housing Market Index is 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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