Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Quick Notes for the Day - August 19

Regulators Pressured Citi to Oust CFO - According to a report from the Financial Times Wednesday, US regulators applied pressure on Citigroup to replace its chief financial officer before he left the company this summer. The newspaper cited a confidential agreement between Citi and its main regulators in which the firm said it would consider whether to replace Ned Kelly, its CFO at the time. Kelly resigned after hearing of the agreement, according to the FT report.

Oil Rises Above $71 After Data - Oil rose above $71 a barrel after the Energy Department reported that crude supplies plunged by 8.4 million barrels last week versus analyst predictions of a rise of 1.1 million barrels. The government also reported declines in gasoline and distillate supplies. Before the data, oil was trading around $69.50 a barrel.

BB&T Offering to Raise Around $900 Million - BB&T Corp. said late Tuesday it is looking to raise about $900 million by selling new common stock. The bank said it priced a public offering of 33.45 million shares of common stock at $26 per share. The underwriters will have a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 5.01 million shares of common stock from BB&T to cover over-allotments, if any. Net proceeds from the offering will be roughly $837.1 million, after deducting underwriting commissions but before deductions for other transaction expenses, the bank said. Net proceeds will be about $962.5 million, if the underwriters exercise their over-allotment option in full, BB&T added. The bank said it will use the money for general corporate purposes.

GM Increasing Production - General Motors said Tuesday that due to an increase in sales revolving around the "Cash for Clunkers" program, it will add 60,000 cars and trucks to its North American production schedule and reinstate 1,350 jobs. The added production will occur in the third and fourth quarters. GM said its Chevy Cobalt and Chevy HHR are among the models experiencing an increase in sales.

UBS Agrees to Give Information to the IRS - The IRS and Department of Justice on Wednesday settled with UBS AG in an agreement that will result in an "unprecedented amount" of information on US holders of accounts at the Swiss banking group. The settlement comes after reports US tax authorities were conducting criminal investigations into Americans who used Swiss bank accounts to avoid US taxes. The settlement follows demands from US authorities that the bank hand over details on thousands of customers. In total the settlement is likely to yield around 10,000 account identities, including through a voluntary disclosure program and a prior settlement in February. US tax authorities will gain access to 5,000 accounts of US individuals held at UBS. "These accounts held over $15 billion at one point in time," said IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman on Wednesday. "You can expect us to continue to be aggressive with institutions that are helping Americans avoid taxes."

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