Barclays Posts Full-Year Loss; Set to Slash Dividend Payouts (WSJ)
Overall results for the year were muted. The bank posted a wider net loss of £394 million ($548.3 million) for the year, compared with a loss of £174 million the year before, hit by litigation costs. Total income, excluding insurance claims, rose 1% to £25.5 billion. The bank’s retail and credit card business continued to perform strongly, but that was offset by the cost of shrinking the bank. Litigation costs also took their toll. The bank said it put aside £1.45 billion in provisions in the fourth quarter to compensate customers who were sold payment protection insurance they didn’t need.
Valeant Under Investigation by SEC (WSJ)
The SEC has requested information about Valeant’s now-terminated relationship with drug distributor Philidor Rx Services LLC, and Valeant has submitted emails, financial documents and other data to comply with the request, according to a person familiar with the matter. In addition, said people familiar with the matter, a finance executive, Tanya Carro, left in the wake of an internal review that found Valeant had booked some revenues from Philidor too early in 2014, an error it disclosed last week. One person said she was on paid administrative leave.
Fed's Dudley 'Somewhat Less Confident' on Inflation Outlook (Bloomberg)
“On balance, I am somewhat less confident than I was before,” Dudley said in remarks prepared for a speech Tuesday in the Chinese city of Hangzhou. “Partly, this reflects my assessment that uncertainty to the outlook has increased and that downside risks have crept up.”
Mystery Malaysian high roller at center of global money-laundering probe (NYP)
He arrived from out of nowhere in 2009, a mysterious, geeky 28-year-old dropping ridiculous amounts of money all over the city. When Lindsay Lohan was celebrating her 23rd birthday at 1Oak, he sent 23 bottles of Cristal to her table. He spent $160,000 on bottle service one evening at Chelsea hot spot Avenue and once flew eight waitresses from Greenwich Village club Pink Elephant to an afterparty — in Malaysia. Yet no one knew who this man, Low Taek Jho — otherwise known as Jho Low — was, or where he got his money...Now the mystery of Jho Low may have finally been solved, thanks to a scandal that threatens the government of Malaysia and Wall Street titan Goldman Sachs.
Canadian banned from owning turtles after smuggling 38 in pants (Reuters)
Dong Yan of Windsor, Ontario, had tried to bring the reptiles from the United States into the southern part of the province. “The turtles were contained in plastic bags and taped to Mr. Yan's legs,” Environment and Climate Change Canada said in a statement on Thursday. Yan was convicted on February 17 after he was caught during an inspection in 2014 when he tried to enter Canada through the Niagara border crossing, the department said. Yan’s probation is for two years, and his fine was C$3,500 ($2,600). He was also sentenced to 50 hours of community service and must notify the environment department of international travel. Yan was also ordered to write a letter about his experience “for publication as the department sees fit.”
Glencore Posts Biggest Profit Drop Since IPO on Metals Slump (Bloomberg)
By a lot of measures, 2015 was the worst year for Glencore Plc since the mining and trading giant became a public company. Net income excluding some items plunged 69 percent to $1.34 billion during the year as prices for metals and oil collapsed, the Baar, Switzerland-based company said in a statement Tuesday. While that beat the $1.17-billion estimate from analysts, the firm suffered an adjusted loss in its mining division and plans to sell as much as $5 billion in assets.
The Rise and Fall of Commodities Hedge Fund King Willem Kooyker (Bloomberg)
The numbers tell the story. At its height in 2011, Blenheim was the world’s largest commodities-focused hedge fund, with $9.1 billion in assets, people familiar with the firm say. Today, its assets have fallen nearly 85 percent to $1.5 billion. What went wrong? The short answer is that Kooyker didn’t think things would get this bad. He and his colleagues underestimated the economic troubles in China and never thought commodities prices would fall so far, so fast, the people said, speaking on the condition they not be named to avoid jeopardizing business relationships.
ICE Confirms It May Bid for LSE Group, Sending Shares to Record (Bloomberg)
Intercontinental Exchange Inc. said it is considering making an offer for London Stock Exchange Group Plc, a week after Deutsche Boerse AG said it was in merger talks with the U.K. company.
District apologizes for high school students' mock slave auction (UPI)
The Barrington School District apologized after Barrington High School students attending the Illinois Junior Classical League Convention at the Westin hotel in Itasca held a mock slave auction featuring a student in chains being sold. The mock auction was part of a competition to display knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman cultures. The demonstration elicited numerous complaints from parents and students in the audience. Witnesses, many of whom described the display as racially insensitive, said children as young as 13 were in attendance at the time. The Barrington School District's Facebook post reads: "The Barrington School District offers sincere apologies to those offended by a skit our high school Latin students conducted at the Illinois Junior Classical Convention in Itasca this weekend. Their depiction of slavery as it was practiced by ancient Greeks and Romans unintentionally but understandably evoked strong emotions among a diverse audience. We agree with the concern and are reviewing the incident with students and staff who were involved."