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Feb 2 - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has asked some major hedge funds to review certain employees' personal mobile phones for evidence of business dealings on unapproved channels, Bloomberg News reported on Thursday. The hedge funds include Steve Cohen's Point72 Asset Management and Ken Griffin's Citadel, the report said, citing people familiar with the matter. The SEC and Point72 and did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment, while Citadel said it had no immediate comment. Reuters reported in October that the SEC's probe had expanded to investment funds and advisers. Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini GanguliOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Crypto exchange Kraken shuts Abu Dhabi office
  + stars: | 2023-02-02 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
Feb 2 (Reuters) - Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken has shut its Abu Dhabi office less than a year after securing a license in the region, a spokesperson said on Thursday, as the company seeks to sharpen its focus after FTX's bankruptcy shook the digital assets sector. The U.S.-based company had said last year it would reduce its workforce by 30%, or about 1,100 employees, as rising rates and worries of an economic downturn soured the sentiment on crypto. FTX's fall has also set the dominoes falling across the industry, with several major companies having filed for bankruptcy protection in recent months. In December, Kraken also said it would cease operations in Japan, citing market conditions in the country and a weak crypto market globally. Reporting by Niket Nishant and Mehnaz Yasmin in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh KuberOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Feb 2 (Reuters) - Private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier and Rice is weighing a $4.1 billion buyout offer for investment adviser Focus Financial Partners Inc (FOCS.O), according to a regulatory filing on Thursday. The offer price of $53 per share marks a nearly 15% premium to stock's last close on Wednesday. Shares of Focus Financial were up 12.4% at $52 in premarket trading. Private equity firms, with billions of dollars of cash and a mandate to invest, have offered some respite in an environment that is still tough for dealmaking as fears of an economic downturn intensify. Reporting by Niket Nishant; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli and Krishna Chandra EluriOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Feb 2 (Reuters) - U.S. custodian bank State Street Corp (STT.N) on Thursday reported a 9.32% passive stake in cryptocurrency-focused lender Silvergate Capital Corp (SI.N) as of Dec. 31, according to a regulatory filing. The disclosure comes as Silvergate seeks to ease investor concerns over its future, after reporting a $1 billion loss for the fourth quarter because FTX's bankruptcy shook confidence in the crypto sector. Earlier this week, a group of bipartisan U.S. senators sent a letter to Silvergate asking for details on its dealings with FTX and affiliate Alameda. Passive shareholders do not seek to influence a company's management or its course of business. Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika SyamnathOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
The San Jose, California-based digital payments company said on Tuesday it would lay off 7% of its workforce, or around 2,000 employees, a move in line with analyst expectations and the firm's previous commitment to rein in costs. PayPal has been under pressure for most of last year, as surging inflation and fears of a recession limited digital payments and e-commerce spending. Some analysts suspect the latest job cuts were under pressure from Elliot, which took a stake in the company in August. PayPal still has potential to "meaningfully improve margins over time," Horn added, indicating the company has further room to cut costs. The company cut its annual revenue growth forecast when it reported its third-quarter results in November.
Blackstone REIT blocks investor withdrawals in January
  + stars: | 2023-02-01 | by ( Chibuike Oguh | )   time to read: +2 min
The fulfilled withdrawal requests also represents 2% of the net asset value of fund, the firm said. Blackstone began exercising its right to block investor withdrawals from BREIT from November last year after it received a deluge of requests that exceeded a preset 5% of the net asset value of the fund. Shares of Blackstone were down 2.4% to $93.59 in early afternoon trading on Wednesday. Last month, Blackstone announced that the University of California would invest $4 billion in BREIT shares after the firm committed $1 billion to backstop the university's returns in the fund. The university later increased its investment by another $500 million, bringing the total value of its BREIT shares to $4.5 billion.
Jan 31 (Reuters) - U.S. senators have asked cryptocurrency-focused bank Silvergate Capital Corp (SI.N) if it knew about bankrupt exchange FTX's alleged misuse of customer funds after the lawmakers found the company's earlier responses "evasive", Bloomberg Law reported on Tuesday. The questions were asked in a letter sent to the bank by senators including Democrat Elizabeth Warren and Republicans Roger Marshall and John Kennedy, who questioned Silvergate about its ties to FTX, the report said. They said Silvergate in December had declined to fully answer related questions, citing restrictions on disclosing "confidential supervisory information", the report added. Earlier this month, Silvergate slashed its headcount by 40% and reported a net loss of $1 billion for the fourth quarter. Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju SamuelOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
[1/2] Goldman Sachs' Chairman and CEO David Solomon attends a session at the 50th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, January 21, 2020. REUTERS/Denis BalibouseNEW YORK, Jan 27 (Reuters) - To listen to Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) chief executive David Solomon, the bank is doing "great," while skeptical investors wonder what comes next. Still, Goldman shares are up 3.6% over the past year, outperforming the S&P 500 banking index and peers. In October, Goldman scaled back ambitions for Marcus by placing it under the newly-merged asset and wealth division. "Going back to what has made Goldman great for decades will allow the firm to reset and recover," he said.
Jan 27 (Reuters) - Mastercard Inc (MA.N) and Visa Inc (V.N) will rely on China reopening to give travel spending a boost, Wall Street analysts said, as the pace of growth in other parts of the world eases from a post-pandemic boom. Executives at the payments companies on Thursday pointed to further room for travel recovery in China, which earlier this month reopened its borders after dropping its stringent COVID-19 control measures. "However, the reopening of China should act as a modest boost." Shares of Visa climbed nearly 3% on Friday, while Mastercard was up nearly 1% in choppy trading. "Consumer spending has remained surprisingly resilient, but reopening has not been worked through in earnest – especially in Asia where there is pent-up travel demand post China reopening," said Macquarie Group analyst Paul Golding.
[1/2] A 3D printed Mastercard logo is seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration taken September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/IllustrationJan 26 (Reuters) - Mastercard Inc (MA.N) forecast current-quarter revenue growth short of Wall Street estimates on Thursday, saying the boost from pent-up demand for travel will diminish going forward. After the Federal Reserve's rate hikes for most of last year, the economy has begun to show some signs of slowing down, with wide-ranging layoffs and fears of a recession spooking consumers into saving more, which is likely to impact travel growth. "Mastercard’s payment volume growth in Q4 2022 remained strong. Mastercard said it expects first-quarter revenue to grow at the "high-end of high-single digits range", while analysts had estimated a growth of 10.7%, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
[1/2] A 3D printed Mastercard logo is seen in front of displayed stock graph in this illustration taken September 20, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/IllustrationJan 26 (Reuters) - Mastercard Inc (MA.N) current-quarter revenue growth forecast fell short of Wall Street estimates, fanning fears that the card company was heading into a much tougher environment in 2023 as the economy loses steam. Mastercard shares fell 1.4% to $377 in premarket trading, even after the company reported fourth-quarter profit ahead of estimates. The company said it expects first-quarter revenue to grow at the "high-end of high-single digits range". Analysts were expecting a growth of 10.7%, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
NYSE says manual error triggered major trading glitch
  + stars: | 2023-01-25 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
The glitch, which occurred on Tuesday, impacted stocks of major companies including 3M (MMM.N), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N). The NYSE, owned by Intercontinental Exchange Inc (ICE.N), said it began trading in 2,824 securities without an opening auction, which led to erroneous prices, with nearly 4,341 trades in 251 securities "busted", or nullified. The exchange also said it had erroneously triggered a sell short restriction (SSR) on about 80 securities on Tuesday. That could potentially lead to volatile trading on Wednesday but it was "nothing investors have to worry about", Stovall added. Reporting by Niket Nishant and Johann M Cherian in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'SilvaOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
[1/2] Credit card is seen in front of displayed Visa logo in this illustration taken, July 15, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/IllustrationJan 24 (Reuters) - U.S. card companies are expected to post the slowest revenue growth in seven quarters, as consumers tighten their purse strings and avoid spending on luxury and big-ticket items. Card firms pocket a small percentage of the dollar value of transactions and stand to lose out on fees if customers pivot away from buying luxury items. Shares in Visa, Mastercard and Amex closed last year between 3% and 10% lower. Mastercard and Visa are set to report quarterly results on Thursday, with AmEx rounding off the season on Friday.
Gemini is laying off 10% of staff - The Information
  + stars: | 2023-01-23 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
Jan 23 (Reuters) - Cryptocurrency exchange Gemini is slashing 10% of its headcount in what is at least the third round of layoffs in eight months, the Information reported on Monday, citing an internal message. Founded by identical twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, crypto pioneers and former U.S. Olympic rowers, Gemini has faced pressure in recent months due to a high-profile dispute involving crypto company Genesis, over a product that the two firms jointly offered. Crypto firms are off to a rocky start in 2023, with major players such as Coinbase Global Inc (COIN.O) cutting jobs and Genesis Global Capital, the lending arm of Genesis, seeking bankruptcy protection. Genesis owes $765.9 million to Gemini, its largest creditor, according to its bankruptcy filing from last week. Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika SyamnathOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
U.S. Fed probes Goldman Sachs consumer business - WSJ
  + stars: | 2023-01-20 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
Jan 20 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve is probing the consumer business of Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) to determine whether the bank had appropriate safeguards in place as it ramped up lending, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. The central bank is concerned the Wall Street giant did not have proper monitoring and control systems inside Marcus, its consumer unit, as it grew larger, the report said. "The Federal Reserve is our primary federal bank regulator and we do not comment on the accuracy or inaccuracy of matters relating to discussions with them," a Goldman spokesperson told Reuters. Bloomberg News reported in September that the bank's Marcus unit was facing a Fed review. Goldman's credit card business is also being investigated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the bank disclosed last year.
Canadian insurer Sun Life inks $193 mln deal with HK's Dah Sing
  + stars: | 2023-01-20 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
[1/2] FILE PHOTO: The Sun Life Financial logo is seen at their corporate headquarters of One York Street in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, February 11, 2019. REUTERS/Chris Helgren//File Photo/File PhotoJan 20 (Reuters) - A unit of Canadian insurer Sun Life Financial Inc (SLF.TO) has partnered with Hong Kong-based Dah Sing Bank (2356.HK) in a deal valued at nearly C$260 million ($193 million), the companies said on Friday. Under terms of the partnership, Sun Life would pay to become the exclusive life insurance provider for Dah Sing Bank's 570,000 retail customers, beginning July, the companies said. The deal will bring in new customers for Sun Life and help the insurer expand its customer base in Hong Kong. Sun Life-Asia President Ingrid Johnson added at the time that the market in Hong Kong "was very encouraging with the emergence of sales".
JPMorgan CEO Dimon sees interest rates going beyond 5% - CNBC
  + stars: | 2023-01-19 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
Jan 19 (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon expects interest rates to go beyond 5% as inflation remains high, he said in an interview with CNBC on Thursday. "I actually think rates are probably going to go higher than 5% ... there's a lot of underlying inflation, which won't go away so quick," Dimon said. Policymakers at the central bank have said they will continue to push with interest rate hikes to get inflation firmly under control even as the economy shows signs of a slowdown. U.S. consumer prices fell for the first time in more than two-and-a-half years in December, adding to hopes that inflation is now on a downward trend. Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak DasguptaOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
New FTX chief says bankrupt crypto exchange could restart - WSJ
  + stars: | 2023-01-19 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
Jan 19 (Reuters) - Bankrupt crypto exchange FTX is looking into the possibility of reviving its business, Chief Executive Officer John Ray told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday. Ray, who took over the reins in November, has set up a task force to explore restarting, the company's main international exchange, he said in an interview with the WSJ. "I'm glad Mr. Ray is finally paying lip service to turning the exchange back on after months of squashing such efforts!" "I'm still waiting for him to finally admit FTX US is solvent and give customers their money back," Bankman-Fried added. Bankman-Fried has been accused of stealing billions of dollars from the exchange's customers to pay debts incurred by his crypto-focused hedge fund, Alameda Research.
Fintech Pagaya to lay off 20% of employees
  + stars: | 2023-01-18 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
Jan 18 (Reuters) - Financial technology firm Pagaya Technologies Ltd (PGY.O) said on Wednesday it was laying off nearly 20% of its employees across its offices in the United States and Israel. Fintech startups have been some of the biggest casualties of the challenging economic environment since last year, after the Federal Reserve began raising rates to combat inflation. Pagaya said the affected employees were informed by Tuesday. The company listed on NASDAQ last year through a merger with special purpose acquisition company EJF Acquisition Corp in a deal that valued it at $8.5 billion. A special purpose acquisition company is a company that is listed on an exchange solely with the purpose of raising money to acquire another company and take it public.
Jan 18 (Reuters) - Cryptocurrency lender Genesis Global Capital is planning to file for bankruptcy as soon as this week, Bloomberg News reported on Wednesday, citing people with knowledge of the situation. The collapse of FTX in November has claimed several victims including crypto lender BlockFi and Core Scientific Inc , one of the biggest publicly traded crypto mining companies in the United States, both of which filed for bankruptcy protection in the following months. Genesis is also locked in a dispute with Gemini, founded by the identical twin crypto pioneers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Gemini offered a crypto lending product called Earn in partnership with Genesis, and now says Genesis owes it $900 million in connection with that product. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission last week said it had charged Genesis and Gemini with illegally selling securities to hundreds of thousands of investors through their crypto lending program.
Crypto firm Bitzlato's website seized
  + stars: | 2023-01-18 | by ( )   time to read: 1 min
Jan 18 (Reuters) - Cryptocurrency firm Bitzlato's website has been seized as part of an international law enforcement action against the company, according to a notice posted on the website. Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak DasguptaOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Jan 17 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) on Tuesday reported a bigger-than-expected 69% drop in fourth-quarter profit as it struggled with a slump in dealmaking and weakness in its wealth management business. Goldman is also curbing its consumer banking ambitions as Chief Executive Officer David Solomon refocuses the bank's resources to strengthen its core businesses such as investment banking and trading. Goldman's investment banking fees fell 48% in the latest quarter, while revenue from its asset and wealth management unit dropped 27% due to lower revenue from equity and debt investments. The bank reported a profit of $1.19 billion, or $3.32 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, missing the Street estimate of $5.48, according to Refinitiv IBES data. Fixed income, currency and commodities trading revenue was up 44%, while revenue from equities trading fell 5%.
Rising interest rates roiled markets last year and global investment banking revenue sank more than 50% from a year-earlier quarter, according to data from analytics firm Dealogic. SHARPLY LOWERAcross the board, investment banking fees were sharply lower. Morgan Stanley's revenue from investment banking business fell 49% in the fourth quarter while Goldman Sachs's investment banking fees fell 48%. JPMorgan's investment banking unit saw its revenue down 57%, Citigroup Inc's (C.N) investment banking revenue plunged 58% while Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) investment banking fees more than halved. Strength in trading helped offset a slump in investment banking, while interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve helped income.
"The consumers are spending, their wages are growing and frankly, there's still a lot of stimulus ... Social Security payments are going up at a high rate," Moynihan told Reuters. "Things like that are going to add more fuel that they can use to spend," he added. Moynihan said that for the first time in a long time deposits had come down a little bit for the industry. (For daily Davos updates in your inbox sign up for the Reuters Daily Briefing here.) Reporting by Lananh Nguyen in Davos and Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru Additional reporting by Niket Nishant Editing by Mark PotterOur Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
KKR to buy S&P Global's engineering solutions unit for $975 mln
  + stars: | 2023-01-17 | by ( )   time to read: +1 min
Jan 17 (Reuters) - Private equity giant KKR & Co (KKR.N) will buy S&P Global's (SPGI.N) engineering solutions business for $975 million, the financial services provider said on Tuesday. The move comes months after S&P Global said it would sell the unit, which serves more than 6,000 customers in the aerospace, defense, energy and architecture industries, among others. "The divestiture of Engineering Solutions to KKR allows us to further focus on driving growth in our core businesses," S&P Global Chief Executive Officer Douglas Peterson said. Shares of S&P Global were up marginally in afternoon trade. KKR's financing would come from its North America Fund XIII, which raised $19 billion last year.
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