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B.C.'s provincial auto insurer to pay back $39 million in overcharged fees

VANCOUVER - The Insurance Corporation of British Columbia says that it will be informing customers within the next 90 days whether they have been billed the wrong amount due to database errors. The Crown corporation says that over the last six years, approximately 240,000 optional insurance customers were overcharged and it will reinburse them. ICBC says the average overpayment was $21 each year per customer and estimates that it will be paying back $36 million plus an additional $3 million in interest.

BofA reports first quarterly loss since 2011 on lofty legal bill

By Peter Rudegeair and Tanya Agrawal (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp reported an unexpected first-quarter loss on Wednesday after it took a $6 billion charge to cover litigation expenses, a figure that far exceeded the legal settlements the No. 2 U.S. bank has announced recently. Revenue improved in many of the bank's major businesses, but the results were overshadowed by its bigger-than-expected legal costs. The bank had previously said that a settlement would cut into its earnings by $3.7 billion before taxes.

Credit Suisse profits down 34 per cent as revenues fall at investment bank

FRANKFURT - Swiss bank Credit Suisse says its net profit fell 34 per cent in the first quarter, more than expected, as bond-market woes hurt earnings at its investment banking business. Profit dropped to 859 million Swiss francs ($979 million) from 1.303 billion francs in the same quarter a year ago. The figure was short of analyst estimates of 1.1 billion francs as compiled by financial information provider FactSet. Group core revenues fell 8 per cent to 6.469 billion francs ($7.375 billion).

Europe's top banks shed 2 trillion euros as regulatory belt tightens

By Laura Noonan LONDON (Reuters) - Europe's top 30 banks cut assets by 2 trillion euros ($2.76 trillion) last year and are set to cut them again in 2014 as regulatory pressure prompts investment banks to shrink and retail banks sell some of their loans into a rising market.

CPP Investment board to sell Texas-based air system company for US$1.6 billion

TORONTO - The body that manages investments for the Canada Pension Plan has agreed to sell Air Distribution Technologies, Inc. to Johnson Controls in a deal valued at approximately US$1.6 billion. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board says it expects to receive about US$1 billion in proceeds from the sale of Air Distribution. The Dallas-based company makes air distribution and ventilation systems for buildings as well as controls for industrial and infrastructure applications. CPP Investment Board acquired Air Distribution in 2012 for US$1.1 billion from Tomkins.

FGIC, BofA settle litigation over mortgage-backed securities

(Reuters) - Bond insurer Financial Guarantee Insurance Co said it had reached an agreement with Bank of America Corp to settle litigation related to nine second-lien residential mortgage-backed securitizations FGIC had insured. FGIC said it received $584 million in cash and that all outstanding litigation between the company and Bank of America had now been resolved.

Influence of banks, hedge funds on commodities lowest since 2008

By David Sheppard LONDON (Reuters) - United Nations economists who previously called for government intervention to tame volatile swings in commodity prices say banks and hedge funds have since reduced their influence to the lowest level since 2008. In a 2012 report for the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), David Bicchetti and Nicolas Maystre said the rise of financial players in commodities markets over the previous decade had moved prices of oil and grains away from the fundamentals of supply and demand.

CME trading outage showed that man can still match the machine

By Cezary Podkul and Tom Polansek NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Just over a week ago, CME Group Inc suffered the worst-ever trading outage on the world's most important agricultural markets, plunging electronic screens into darkness and sending dozens of traders scrambling for Chicago's famous but now often deserted trading "pits".

Foreign buying could send Kospi above resistance level: analysts

SEOUL, April 16 (Yonhap) -- A steady rally in major blue chips, backed by strong foreign buying, may deliver a further boost to South Korea's stock market, sending the country's key stock index above the upper 2,050-point resistance level soon, analysts said Wednesday. The country's benchmark index, the Kospi, has been stuck in a tight range after topping the 2,000-point level on April 10 for the first time in three months as a correction in the U.S. stock market and concerns over a slowdown in the Chinese economy sapped investor sentiment here.

Exclusive: Turmoil at Symantec luring activists, buyers - sources

By Nadia Damouni and Nicola Leske NEW YORK (Reuters) - The abrupt firing of Symantec Corp Chief Executive Steve Bennett last month is attracting activist investors and private equity firms to the U.S. security software maker, in a development that could potentially lead to its breakup or sale, sources familiar with the situation said. Activist investors, including ValueAct Capital, are examining the company's prospects and may decide to build up stakes to agitate for change, the sources said. ValueAct declined to comment.
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