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Citi gives more access to ValueAct; PG&E in financing talks with i-banks

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Citi gives more access to ValueAct; PG&E in financing talks with i-banks

Citigroup Inc. kicks off 2018 fourth-quarter earnings season for U.S. banks, with the company scheduled to release its earnings results before markets open today.

The banking giant also recently agreed to give hedge fund ValueAct Capital Management LP more access to its books and board of directors. The two companies have signed an information sharing and engagement agreement that will provide a "deeper level of engagement and collaboration." According to a Reuters report, the agreement may likely signal ValueAct's plan to become more involved with the bank. ValueAct currently owns about 32 million of Citi's issued and outstanding common shares.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of India ordered Citibank NA India to pay 30 million rupees for failure to comply with the "fit and proper" criteria for bank directors.

PG&E Corp. is in the early stages of talks with investment banks for debtor-in-possession financing that could total about $3 billion to $5 billion, sources told Reuters. The report follows speculation that the California utility company could seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection due to possible liabilities of billions of dollars from catastrophic wildfires in the state. Citi, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Bank of America Corp. are PG&E's current lenders.

European hedge funds are having a hard time registering with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over the latter's concern that the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation would hinder attempts to obtain data from the companies, sources told FT. The SEC is requiring the companies to give assurances that they can provide access to certain information, including trade records, financial statements or client profiles. The U.S. government's shutdown has also complicated the funds' ability to contact the SEC.

Spartanburg, S.C.-based American Credit Acceptance LLC, which operates as a sub-prime auto finance company, has purchased the loan portfolios of Heartland Financial USA Inc. units Citizens Finance Co. and Citizens Finance of Illinois Co.

The People's Bank of China has yet to acknowledge Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc.'s applications to process Chinese yuan payments, sources told the Financial Times. The payment processors filed their applications more than a year ago after China removed obstacles to foreign companies' participation in their payments market.

In other parts of the world

Asia Pacific: India fines Citi's domestic unit; NAB suffers 5-hour outage

Europe: Euronext launches Oslo Børs offer; BNP closing €2.5B arm; Danske probe in France

Middle East & Africa: Saudi's Al Rajhi in merger talks for Malaysian unit; QIA to boost US investments

Now featured on S&P Global Market Intelligence

For many banks, adding leases could alter balance sheets by $1B or more: Most banks expect the capital impact to be minimal, but others expect the change to have a "significant impact."

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 1.38% to 26,298.33. Japanese equity markets are closed for a holiday.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 slid 0.98% to 6,850.48, and the Euronext 100 declined 0.96% to 926.19.

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.

As of Jan. 11, US$1 was equivalent to 70.40 Indian rupees.

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