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Group files for Atlanta de novo; JPMorgan to up China investment


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Group files for Atlanta de novo; JPMorgan to up China investment

A group of organizers, operating as RBM Organizer Group, filed a de novo application with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to form Craft Bank in Atlanta, American Banker reports. Former Cornerstone Bank executive Ross Mynatt is expected to lead the proposed bank as CEO. The organizers reportedly intend to raise $22.5 million to $30 million in initial capital.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. plans to significantly boost investment in the securities, asset management, and futures and options businesses in China, the New York-based bank's China CEO, Mark Leung, told China Daily in an interview. JPMorgan also looks to secure full ownership of its Chinese joint ventures "when the timing is right," Leung said, noting that the bank has completed the required preparatory work for its securities joint venture in the country and is waiting for a final approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission for the business to be officially launched.

In a Dec. 13 letter to JPMorgan Chase employees, CEO Jamie Dimon said he is "disgusted by racism" and hates it in any form. "Any such behavior — explicit or veiled, deliberate or unconscious — is unacceptable and does not reflect who we are as a company and how we serve our clients and communities every day," he said. Dimon's letter followed a report in The New York Times that talked about alleged discrimination faced by the bank's black employees and customers.

In a wide-ranging interview with CNBC, Morgan Stanley Chairman and CEO James Gorman talked about the U.S.-China trade talks, the Federal Reserve's interest rate cuts, broker consolidation and on his succession plans, among other things. In response to a question on leadership, Gorman said he wanted to develop a team to replace him. Morgan Stanley has not yet announced a replacement for former President Colm Kelleher, who retired in June.

Asset management giant Vanguard Group Inc. and Chinese fintech company Ant Financial Services Group created a joint venture to offer investment advisory services to retail consumers in China. The venture will offer services for minimum investments of about $113 and will be accessible through Alipay and Ant Fortune.

INTL FCStone Inc. agreed to acquire the brokerage business of Tellimer Group, which provides access, execution and research to institutional investors, corporates and governments. Under the deal, the firm will purchase Exotix Partners LLP, Tellimer Capital Ltd. (Nigeria) and the broking business of Tellimer Markets Inc.

The Malaysian High Court approved the transfer of legal cases against Goldman Sachs Group Inc. units Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC and Goldman Sachs International over their alleged involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal to a higher court in the country from the Magistrate's Court, Bloomberg News reports. The petition to transfer the case against Goldman Sachs (Singapore) Pte will reportedly be reviewed at a Dec. 26 hearing.

Shareholder advocacy firms Boston Trust Walden and Mercy Investment Services have submitted shareholder proposals to asset managers Vanguard Group, JPMorgan Chase and BlackRock Inc. for allegedly failing to align their public stance on climate change with their proxy voting records, Bloomberg News reports. Boston Trust Walden and Mercy reportedly say the asset management companies could face portfolio risks, fiduciary duty violation concerns, or reputation issues if they do not respond to climate risks as promised.

In other parts of the world

Asia-Pacific: Ant Financial, Vanguard in China retail JV; Thai bank eyes SE Asia expansion

Europe: Deutsche eyes bonus cut; 2 German banks to begin M&A talks; Italian bank rescue

Middle East & Africa: National Bank of Oman to exit Egypt; Fitch revises outlook on Cabo Verde

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

Fed prepares for dicey year-end period in repo markets: Analysts say the Fed's actions will have a calming effect on the overnight repurchase, or repo, market — where banks, hedge funds and other financial firms borrow and lend cash overnight in exchange for collateral such as U.S. Treasury securities. But analysts also see a risk that rates for overnight lending may jump again, partly because large banks often take a step back from lending in the repo market near the end of the year.

US banks closed a net 77 branches in November: U.S. banks and thrifts shuttered 165 branches while opening 88 in November, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence data.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.65% to 27,508.09, and the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.29% to 23,952.35.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 2.19% to 7,514.52, and the Euronext 100 rose 1.00% to 1,143.74.

On the macro front

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey, the Housing Market Index and the Treasury International Capital report 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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