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BlackRock promotes likely CEO successor; State Street firing 15% of senior execs


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BlackRock promotes likely CEO successor; State Street firing 15% of senior execs

A group of 15 chief economists at major North American banks projects U.S. GDP will grow a median 3.1% in 2018, but drop to 2.1% in 2019 and 1.7% in 2020. Economic and market data are telling a "dual story" of continued strengthening in the near term but growing risks to the outlook going forward, according to Robert Dye, chief economist at Comerica Bank and chairman of the American Bankers Association's Economic Advisory Committee.

In people news, BlackRock Inc. has promoted Mark Wiedman to head the asset management giant's international operations and corporate strategy, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a company memo. Wiedman's promotion, according to WSJ, signals that he is being primed to be a potential successor to CEO Laurence Fink.

Saul Van Beurden is joining Wells Fargo & Co. in April as head of technology. He was most recently JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s chief information officer of consumer and community banking.

Boston-based State Street Corp. is laying off 15% of its senior management beginning Jan. 9, sources told Bloomberg News. Those affected by the planned layoffs include executive vice presidents and senior vice presidents of the custody banking and asset management company, according to the report.

On the M&A front, California-based PacWest Bancorp's deal to acquire smaller in-state peer El Dorado Savings Bank F.S.B. has been terminated after the seller's shareholders rejected the merger proposal.

San Francisco-based digital lender Affirm Inc. is set to pilot a no-fee savings account with a 2% annual interest rate and no minimum balance in the first quarter.

In fintech news, financial data firm Refinitiv — which is co-owned by the Blackstone Group LP and Thomson Reuters Corp. confidentially filed for an IPO of its Tradeweb Markets LLC business, Bloomberg News reports, citing unnamed sources. Tradeweb, a bond-trading platform, could be worth more than $4 billion in an IPO, the sources told the news service.

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: CITIC Securities in M&A deal; China to launch medium-term lending facility

Europe: US investor sues Danske Bank; Deutsche Bank shares take another beating

Middle East & Africa: Abraaj gets stake in C&I; Al Baraka eyes Asia; Zenith Bank's retail push

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

At US banks, CDs grow but come with elevated rates: More U.S. banks are once again adding certificates of deposit to their repertoire to fund future growth and the trend seems unlikely to subside soon.

Subprime auto lender rides top-, bottom-line tailwinds into IPO market: The planned initial public offering of Blackstone Group-backed Exeter Finance highlights the company's upbeat outlook for originations growth in a fragmented sector, resilience from a credit perspective and prospects for operating leverage to contribute to continued earnings expansion.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, Hang Seng increased 0.22% to 26,521.43, while the Nikkei 225 fell 1.29% to 20,163.80.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.11% to 6,899.04 and the Euronext 100 was down 0.54% to 930.56.

On the macro front

The EIA natural gas report, Fed balance sheet and Jobless Claims consensus 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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