Four of the world’s largest banks admit currency market manipulation

Four of the world’s most lucrative banks have agreed to plead guilty and pay a combination sum of $5 billion in penalties in relation to rigging currency markets. This marks a rare occurrence for federal prosecutors who managed an admission of guilt from such major financial institutions. Traders at JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup’s banking unit Citicorp, Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland have been accused of collaborating to manipulate currency rates on the foreign exchange market, where hundreds of billions of varying currencies changes hands. The admission of guilt, as…

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Mexico’s Vitro bottling company to be purchased by Owens-Illinois for $2.15 billion

Mexico’s Vitro SAB glass container business is being tendered by Owens-Illinois Inc., the company that makes bottles for Pepsi and Corona. The offer to purchase the Mexican glass container business comes in at about $2.15 billion. Owens-Illinois Inc., which is the world’s largest glass container maker, is hoping the transaction will help strengthen their operations in Mexico, a country that houses numerous distilleries and bottlers. After the announcement, Owens-Illinois shares jumped 10.7 percent to $26.16, while shares for Vitro SAB saw a 22.6 percent increase to $43.19 peso. Owens-Illinois expects…

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Verizon set to buy AOL in a $4.4 billion deal

In a deal valued at $4.4 billion, Verizon Communications has said they will buy AOL Inc. The deal will allow Verizon to gain access to AOL’s digital advertising content and service. The offer, which is $50 per share, represents a premium of 17.4 percent to AOL’s closing on Monday of $42.59. Before the bell on Tuesday, shares soared to $50.05, an increase of 18 percent. Verizon’s stock was down 1 percent. Upon completion, the deal will make AOL a wholly owned subsidiary of Verizon. In the meantime, the deal will…

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Canadian Pacific Rubiales acquired by Mexico’s Alfa Sab and Harbour Energy

Mexico’s Alfa Sab de CV and Harbour Energy Ltd have joined together to purchase Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp, a Canadian oil and gas company. The transaction is estimated to cost $6 billion which includes company debt. Toronto-based Pacific Rubiales is the largest independent oil and gas producer in Latin America, however, company shares have experienced a significant 80 percent drop since oil prices began to slide last summer. Mexico’s Alfa, which already has a 20 percent stake in the company, felt now was a good time to buy. Together, Alfa…

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New Shell, BG megamerger largest in 20 years

Royal Dutch Shell has announced their intention to purchase BG Group for $70 billion. The deal will make Royal Dutch Shell the world’s largest independent producer of liquid natural gas. If the deal is approved by shareholders, it will be the first major megamerger since oil prices began their long slide downward last July. The same slide that has seen a barrel of Bent crude slip from $140 to under $60. According to Dealogic, if the deal is approved, it will be among the largest oil and gas deals in…

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US economy better but not booming

During 2014, the US job market had its best gains since 1999 with economic activity hitting a high 5 percent in the third quarter, a time that proved best since 2003. Now, however, the American economy is showing cracks. Three months into the year and already the economy is looking a little tired. It’s losing momentum even though hiring remains strong. It’s causing forecasters to rethink and scale back their forecasts. On Friday, Federal reserve chair, Janet Yellen, nailed it perfectly when she said, “If underlying conditions had truly returned…

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US housing market sales surge in February

US single home sales spike to their highest levels in seven years. Despite a seemingly never-ending harsh winter, the Commerce Department reports that during the month of February, the sale of new single-family homes jumped 7.8 percent to an annual rate of 539,000 units. This jump makes it the highest level since February 2008. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast new home sales falling to a 465,000-unit pace last month. Home sales in January were also revised, showing sales of 500,000 units from the previously reported 481,000. A new home…

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Brent crude continues to fall, below $54 a barrel

Continual concerns of rising supplies from the US and OPEC have seen Brent crude oil fall for the third straight week in a row to under $54 a barrel. Intensive efforts to finalize a deal between Iran and world leaders over Iran’s nuclear program have only fed concerns that freeing up it’s oil exports would put more pressure on the market. US crude for April delivery has fallen 65 cents to $43.31 a barrel and is headed for its fifth weekly loss. Brent for May delivery is not much better,…

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