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Bank of America swings to loss from profit, hurt by legal charges

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Bank of America said Wednesday that it swung to a loss in the first quarter, hurt by $6 billion in legal charges. A LOSS: The Charlotte, N.C., bank reported a loss applicable to common shareholders of $514 million, compared with a profit of $1.11 billion a year earlier. The loss amounted to 5 cents a share. A year earlier, the bank earned 10 cents a share.

Housing industry asks $5 trillion question: what does Watt want?

By Margaret Chadbourn WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. housing industry has waited three months to find out how Mel Watt will govern taxpayer-owned mortgage companies Fannie Mae <FNMA.OB> and Freddie Mac <FMCC.OB>, and have been frustrated by his silence. The former 11-term congressman from North Carolina, who took over the agency that oversees the two enterprises in January, has not delivered an annual strategic plan, which would usually be public by now.

U.S.-based taxable bond funds attract $2.9 billion: Lipper

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Investors in U.S.-based funds committed $2.9 billion in new cash to taxable bond funds in the week ended April 9, marking their fifth straight week of inflows, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper service showed on Thursday. Funds that hold emerging market bonds attracted $368.3 million, marking their second straight week of inflows, while high-yield bond funds attracted $640 million, marking their biggest inflows in seven weeks.

Deutsche Bank wins dismissal of FHFA case

By Karen Freifeld NEW YORK (Reuters) - Deutsche Bank AG has won dismissal of a lawsuit seeking to have it cover government-sponsored Freddie Mac's losses on defective mortgage securities purchased from a more than $1.4 billion trust. The German bank was accused by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Freddie Mac, of misrepresenting the underwriting and quality of home loans backing the securities in the trust, which dated from 2006.

Growth of bank corporate loans slows in March

SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- Corporate loans extended by South Korean banks grew at a slower pace in March than in February as large firms repaid their debts at the quarter-ending month to tidy up the balance sheet, the central bank said Wednesday. Banks' corporate loans amounted to 640.6 trillion won (US$612.3 billion) as of end-March, up 1.7 trillion won from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The March gain compares with a 4.2 trillion won on-month increase tallied for February, it added.

Household loans resume upward trend in February

SEOUL, April 8 (Yonhap) -- Household loans extended by South Korean financial institutions increased 3 trillion won (US$2.8 billion) in February from a month earlier as mortgage and credit loans rose, the central bank said Tuesday. Outstanding household lending by local banks and non-banking institutions totaled 688.1 trillion won as of end-February, compared with 685.1 trillion won a month earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).

CarMax revenue up 9 percent; increases share buyback by $1 billion

(Reuters) - CarMax Inc <KMX.N>, the largest retailer of used cars in the United States, reported a higher quarterly revenue and said it had increased its share buyback program by $1 billion. Increased bank lending to subprime borrowers — those with poor credit profiles — drove auto sales and much of car dealerships' profit in 2013. Lending to these borrowers dried up after the start of the credit crisis in 2008. About a fifth of the company's business comes from subprime customers.

Aussie investors hitch ride on home building through 'secondary exposures'

By Thuy Ong SYDNEY (Reuters) - Investors wanting to profit from steadily increasing home construction in Australia without being overly exposed to the property sector's volatility are loading up "secondary exposure stocks" such as paints and building material suppliers. Secondary exposure stocks are companies that benefit greatly when the housing sector does well yet are not wholly reliant on that sector to make money - making them less volatile and less prone to fall when the housing sector does not do so well.

Money market fund assets fall by $3.19 billion to $2.64 trillion for the week

Total U.S. money market mutual fund assets fell by $3.19 billion to $2.64 trillion for the week that ended Wednesday, according to the Investment Company Institute. Assets in the nation's retail money market mutual funds fell by $880 million to $921.69 billion, the Washington-based mutual fund trade group said Thursday. Assets of taxable money market funds in the retail category fell $580 million to $727.22 billion. Tax-exempt retail fund assets fell by $300 million to $194.47 billion.

Bank of America to pay $9.3 billion to settle mortgage bond claims

By Margaret Chadbourn and Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Bank of America agreed to pay $9.3 billion to settle claims that it sold Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac faulty mortgage bonds, helping the bank to end one of the largest legal headaches it still faced from the financial crisis. The settlement, announced on Wednesday, includes $6.3 billion in cash and the rest in securities that Bank of America will purchase from the two housing finance entities.
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