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Major bank holding firms' 2013 profits shrink on increased loan-loss reserves

SEOUL, March 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's major bank holding firms are cutting their earnings for last year largely due to increased loan-loss reserves and increased tax payments, industry sources said Sunday. Combined earnings by the country's top four bank holding firms had earlier been estimated at 4.49 trillion won (US$4.19 billion) but were recently revised down to 3.55 trillion won, according to the sources.

Fed's balance sheet reaches $4 trillion at end of 2013

The Federal Reserve said Friday its balance sheet swelled to $4.0 trillion at the end of 2013 as it made massive asset purchases to support the US economy. The Fed, in a report of its 2013 financial results, said net assets increased by $1.1 trillion compared with its balance on December 31, 2012. It paid net profit of $79.6 billion to the US Treasury. By law, the non-profit central bank is required to turn over any profit in excess of operating and other expenses to the government.

Bank household loans rebound in February

SEOUL, March 12 (Yonhap) -- Household loans extended by South Korean banks rebounded in February as mortgage lending picked up amid government measures to revive the housing market, the central bank said Wednesday. Outstanding household loans by local banks, including home-backed and credit loans, reached 479.7 trillion won (US$448.7 billion) as of end-February, up 1.9 trillion won from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). The February figure compared with a 2.6 trillion won on-month decline in January, it added.

Household loans log first fall in 11 months in Jan.

SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- Household loans extended by South Korean financial institutions declined for the first time in 11 months in January as mortgage and credit loans fell, the central bank said Tuesday. Outstanding household lending by local banks and non-bank institutions totaled 685.2 trillion won (US$642.5 billion) as of end-January, down 2 trillion won from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). Such lending declined for the first time since February last year when household loans fell by 1.8 trillion won.

Household loans log first fall in 11 months in Jan.

SEOUL, March 11 (Yonhap) -- Household loans extended by South Korean financial institutions declined for the first time in 11 months in January as mortgage and credit loans fell, the central bank said Tuesday. Outstanding household lending by local banks and non-bank institutions totaled 685.2 trillion won (US$642.5 billion) as of end-January, down 2 trillion won from the previous month, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK). Such lending declined for the first time since February last year when household loans fell by 1.8 trillion won.

China bank lending halves in February from January

China's bank lending halved in February from January, the government said Monday, amid worries over a near-default on a financial product structured by the risky trust sector. Domestic banks extended 644.5 billion yuan ($105.0 billion) in new loans last month, up 24.5 billion yuan from the same month last year, the central bank said in a statement. The February lending figure fell short of a median forecast of 740 billion yuan, according to a poll of economists by Dow Jones Newswires.

Foreigners sell Korean stocks for 4th straight month

SEOUL, March 7 (Yonhap) -- Foreigners continued to sell off South Korean stocks in February, extending the spree to the fourth consecutive month as concerns over the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus tapering reduced appetite for risky assets in emerging markets and weaker-than-expected data from major economies sapped their sentiment as well, the financial watchdog said Friday.

PNC Financial gets DOJ subpoena over payment processors

(Reuters) - PNC Financial Services Group Inc <PNC.N> said it had received a subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice seeking information about its relationship with certain merchant and payment processor customers. The subpoena is related to the return rate for customers with whom PNC has a depository relationship, the company said in a regulatory filing on Monday.

Investor Fairholme wants governance actions at Fannie, Freddie

(Reuters) - Fairholme Capital Management has sent letters to the boards of U.S. government-controlled Fannie Mae <FNMA.OB> and Freddie Mac <FMCC.OB> seeking corporate governance actions, in a push to let investors have a bigger say in how the companies are run. Fairholme, founded by fund manager Bruce Berkowitz, wants the mortgage companies to stop borrowing funds to pay dividends to the U.S. government, preserve its non-cash assets and establish procedures to address conflicts.

Societe Generale to pay $122 million to resolve U.S. mortgage lawsuit

By Nate Raymond and Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - Societe Generale has agreed to pay $122 million to settle a lawsuit by a U.S. regulator accusing the bank of misleading Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the purchase of mortgage-backed securities. The settlement, announced by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) on Thursday, marked the eighth to date by the FHFA, which in 2011 filed 18 lawsuits over some $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities that were at the heart of the 2008 financial crisis.
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