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Financial Services Top Stories Of The Day – January 5, 2007 January 5, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Economic News.
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FREDDIE MAC PUTS 3Q LOSS AT $550M

Mortgage giant estimates a 3Q loss of $550 million, compared to a profit of $880 million a year ago, which CEO says reflects interest-rate volatility. Firm also predicts 4Q loss. Shares fall 1%.

EX-MERRILL ANALYST GETS 37 MONTHS IN PRISON

Stanislav Shpigelman is sentenced to 37 months in prison after pleading guilty last year to an insider-trading charge. Prosecutors say the scheme netted more than $6 million in illicit gains.

COWEN FALLS AS END OF LOCKUP NEARS

Shares of Cowen Group, the U.S. investment bank spun off from France’s Societe Generale last summer, fall 5% as investors expect fallout from the expiration next week of a lockup on stock sales by the French bank.

ATD TO UNVEIL $60M INVESTMENT

Automated Trading Desk, a fast-growing South Carolina firm known for its expertise in the computerized buying and selling of securities, strikes a deal to receive a $60 million equity investment from Technology Crossover Ventures.

CANWEST, GOLDMAN SACHS IN TALKS FOR ALLIANCE ATLANTIS

Alliance confirms sales talks after Globe and Mail reports Goldman is considering either buying outight Alliance’s 50% stake in ‘CSI’ TV franchise or a loan to CanWest backed by the ‘CSI’ stake. Deal could be worth $1.8 billion.

BANK REGULATORS ISSUE COMPLEX STRUCTURED FINANCE GUIDE

U.S. regulators issue new guidelines for banks and other financial institutions to manage the risks posed by complex structured finance. Regulators say it takes a ‘more principles-based’ approach to special legal and reputation risks.

LSE HOLDER RAISES ITS STAKE

The second-largest shareholder in London Stock Exchange adds to its stake in the company, indicating that some investors still expect Nasdaq to raise its offer for the London market operator.

AMARANTH’S FOUNDER MAY START NEW HEDGE FUND

Nick Maounis, who founded the hedge fund that lost $6.4 billion in a few days last year, is trying to start a new business, say sources. His new firm may manage money for investors directly or help other funds run their business.

DELPHI $4.5B REFINANCING APPROVED

Judge approves Dephi’s bid to refinance its bankruptcy reorganization with a $4.5 billion loan, which company says will save it $8 million a month. Deal includes terms relating to possible struggle for control of Delphi.

BB&T VOWS TO APPEAL TAX SHELTER RULING

BB&T says it intends to appeal a federal judge’s rejection of a refund claim in a tax shelter dispute with the Internal Revenue Service. Case involves BB&T’s claim of a $3.3 million tax refund related to a 1997 lease transaction.

AXA SELLS WINTERTHUR’S US BUSINESS IN $1.8B DEAL

French insurer agrees to sell Winterthur’s U.S. property and casualty business to Australia’s QBE Insurance Group. QBE will pay $1.156 billion, with Winterthur U.S. repaying $636 million of inter-company loans.

US JUDGE DEFERS CRIMINAL CHARGE AGAINST KPMG

Federal judge agrees to dismiss a deferred criminal charge against KPMG, bringing to a close one chapter surrounding the sale of improper tax shelters that the accounting giant to the brink of extinction.

EX-HEDGE FUND MANAGER SETTLES SEC PIPE CASE

Joseph Spiegel, 35, former manager for Spinner Asset Management, will pay $110,000 to settle charges of fraudulent trading in three PIPE deals, which are private investments in public equity. He also agrees to three-year ban on working in investment advisory business.

DEWEY BALLANTINE, ORRICK MERGER OFF

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe Chairman says planned merger of the law firms is off because of conflicts over key issues and departure of Dewey’s important partners.

SEC NAMES MID-ATLANTIC ENFORCEMENT CHIEF

SEC names Elaine Greenberg as associate district administrator for enforcement in its Philadelphia office, where she will oversee the SEC’s enforcement program for the mid-Atlantic region.

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