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Latest Headlines

HSBC Holdings Acquires Bank Ekonomi

The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited (HSBC)has completed the acquisition of 88.89% of PT Bank Ekonomi Raharja Tbk (Bank Ekonomi) for $607.5 million in cash. The transaction took place through its subsidiary HSBC Asia Pacific Holdings (UK).

National Bank Of Abu Dhabi Gets Permission To Operate In Hong Kong

Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) has approved National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) to launch full-fledged operations in Hong Kong. The bank is expected to open its branch during the second half of 2009.

Eight Viet Nam Banks Signs Financing Agreements With ADB

In order to boost trade, eight Vietnamese banks has signed financing agreements with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), as a part of ADB’s $1 billion Trade Finance Facilitation Program (TFFP). The program is expected to garner up to $15 billion in trade support in Asia by the end of 2013.

Consortium Of Private Equity Investors Acquire BankUnited

BankUnited, Florida's largest bank, has been acquired by a consortium of private equity firms led by John Kanas, the former Chairman and CEO of North Fork Bancorporation. Experts view it as one of the largest bank failures to occur this year.

CNB Financial Revises Merger Agreement With Berkshire Hills Bancorp

Berkshire Hills Bancorp and CNB Financial announced that they have revised their merger agreement that will help the former to acquire CNB and its subsidiary, Commonwealth National Bank. According to the revised terms of the merger agreement, the stockholders of CNB will receive 0.4292 shares of Berkshire common stock for each share.

Investors Bancorp To Acquire Six Banco Popular Branches, $250m In Deposits

Investors Savings Bank, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Investors Bancorp, has signed a purchase and assumption agreement with Banco Popular North America to takeover $250 million of deposits and its six New Jersey branch offices for a deposit premium of 1%.

Acquisition Bids For BankUnited

TD Bank Financial, a unit of Toronto-Dominion Bank and a group of private-equity firms, including Carlyle Group and Blackstone Group, along with billionaire investor Wilbur Ross have submitted bids for BankUnited Financial, a report says.

Bank Of England To Expand Stimulus Plan

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has agreed to expand its stimulus policy in order to boost the country’s economy. The bank has announced that it would increase its spending by £50 billion to £125 billion.

Huntington Announces $675m Capital Actions

Ohio-based Huntington Bancshares, a $52 billion bank holding company, has announced additional capital actions that are expected to add approximately $675 million in regulatory common equity.

PrivateBancorp Raises $217m In New Capital

PrivateBancorp has raised $217 million in new capital following the closure of the previously announced underwritten public offerings of newly issued common stock.

SCBT Returns CPP Funds To Treasury

SCBT Financial Corporation has become the first bank in the Carolinas, and one of the first twenty banks in the US to return the Capital Purchase Program (CPP) funds to the US Deparment of Treasury.

Lloyds Starts First Time Buyer Mortgage

Fifth Third Bancorp Chalks Out Capital Actions of $750m

MoneyGram to provide cash payment services to We Energies's customers

Bank of New York Mellon launches custody and trade settlement platform

ING reports Q1 net loss

Deutsche Bank to acquire Dresdner Bank's agency securities lending business
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Comments & Opinion

Hedge funds: challenges beyond regulations

As governments around the world scramble to reform the practices of the hedge fund industry, the EU has issued its plans for a comprehensive regulatory and supervisory framework for alternative investment funds in continental Europe. These regulatory changes pose real challenges to hedge funds, but the industry does not just have regulators to appease, it has investors to win back.

Barclays: giving out mixed signals

Although Barclays has reported profits of GBP826 million in the first quarter of 2009, increased impairment charges and write-downs on its loan book accompanied this strong performance. Despite trumpeting its impressive results, Barclays is looking to sell off key assets, suggesting that all is not well at the bank.

Australia: rates kept constant following signs of economic recovery

Citing signs of economic recovery, the Reserve Bank of Australia has elected to maintain interest rates at 3%. Despite falling house prices and expectations of rising unemployment in 2009, the stock market has picked up and there are some positive economic indications. However, the Reserve Bank must consider that banks may not pass on further rate cuts.

ATM outsourcing: a viable option for struggling banks

In the current economic environment, banks should carefully analyze the current and future total cost of ownership of their technology assets, and evaluate the outsourcing alternative. With a widespread lack of capital for costly upfront investments, renting ATM hardware and associated services becomes an attractive, and in some cases the only feasible, option to struggling banks.

UK Budget: higher taxes offer opportunities for wealth management

The government's introduction of a 50% income tax rate for those earning more than GBP150,000 is the latest move in what is being described by some as a 'war on wealth'. The clampdown is obviously bad news for the country's private banking industry, but change also brings opportunity. Wealth managers should now focus on financial planning and helping clients to minimize their tax burden.

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