Monday, July 16, 2012

Convenience stores oppose credit card settlement, want swipe fee cap

Welcome to the morning roundup. Here's a look at what's news in banking and finance.

Credit card deal. Retailers will now be able to charge credit card customers an extra fee, and Visa, MasterCard and big banks have to pay $6.6 billion to merchants as part of a legal settlement announced last week, but convenience stores are against the deal, the Wall Street Journal reports. They want a more permanent cap on credit card swipe fees.

Libor conspiracy? Individual banks were able to influence the key Libor interest rate enough to boost their own profits without necessarily conspiring with other banks, traders say, according to Bloomberg. Flaws in how the rate is calculated allow a single bank to manipulate the rate, meaning the Libor scandal that ousted top executives at Barclays may not involve other banks as regulators have suspected.

Hedge fund advantage. Hedge funds are getting early indications that analysts are changing their views on a company's earnings potential, using surveys to trade on the information before the reports come out, The New York Times says. Some of them have stated in documents that they're after nonpublic information.

Citigroup profit. Citigroup, reporting its earnings Monday, said it earned just under $3 billion, or 95 cents per share, Bloomberg reports. That's 12 percent down from a year ago, but beat analysts expectations. M&A activity helped offset trading declines.

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