JPMorgan to pay US$614m
The US’ largest bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, will pay US$614 million and improve mortgage lending practices under a deal announced on Tuesday to settle claims that it approved thousands of unqualified home mortgage loans for government insurance and refinancing since 2002, costing Washginton millions of US dollars when the loans defaulted. US District Judge Paul Oetken in Manhattan approved the deal, which calls for JPMorgan to pay the money within a month and install an improved quality-control program to review loans it underwrites using a federally maintained software application that determines if a loan qualifies for government insurance. The company said it had already reserved the money for the settlement and any financial impact from exposure to future claims was not expected to be significant.
SpiceJet to order Boeings
SpiceJet Ltd, the Indian budget airline controlled by billionaire Kalanithi Maran, is poised to order 38 Boeing Co 737 Max jets valued at US$3.9 billion, people familiar with the plan said. The deal consists of 30 new orders and swapping an existing purchase of eight 737 NG jets for the upgraded Max model, said the people, who asked not to be identified as discussions are private. The order may be announced as early as next week at the Singapore Air Show, two people said. Buying new planes will help the carrier take on market leader IndiGo and impending competition from AirAsia Bhd and Singapore Airlines Ltd, both of which have sought licenses to start local airlines in India. Economic growth across the Asia-Pacific area in the past decade has spurred a travel boom in the region that Boeing and European rival Airbus Group NV are counting on for sales.
AIG bids to stay BofA deal
American International Group Inc (AIG) and other objectors to Bank of America Corp’s (BofA) US$8.5 billion settlement with mortgage bond investors, including BlackRock Inc, asked a judge to delay the entry of a ruling approving the deal. New York State Supreme Court Justice Saliann Scarpulla on Tuesday scheduled a Feb. 19 hearing for the objectors’ request to stay entry of a decision last week approving most of the settlement, Kathy Patrick, a lawyer for BlackRock and the other investors who negotiated the settlement, said in an e-mail. The settlement is part of Bank of America chief executive officer Brian Moynihan’s efforts to resolve liabilities tied to faulty mortgages that have cost the company at least US$50 billion since the financial crisis, most inherited from its 2008 purchase of Countrywide Financial Corp.
Panasonic stock rebounds
Panasonic Corp shares rocketed 19 percent yesterday after the struggling Japanese electronics giant said it swung into the black with a US$2.4 billion profit in the nine months to December last year. The Tokyo-listed shares closed at ￥1,262 as investors reacted to the announcement, which came after markets closed on Tuesday. The stock had sunk 7 percent in the previous session, hit by a broad market sell-off. Panasonic — recovering from combined losses topping US$15 billion in the past two fiscal years — said its net profit came in at ￥243 billion (US$2.4 billion) in the first three quarters, reversing a net loss of ￥623.8 billion over the same period a year ago. Sales rose 4.4 percent. The firm credited its healthier balance sheet to cost-cutting, buoyant auto division sales and a fall in the yen.