(Bloomberg) — Lenders in a country at the center of one of Europe’s largest dirty-cash scandals are testing a new anti-money-laundering system that doesn’t interfere with banking privacy.



Green lights illuminate cable terminals on the Sberbank and SberCloud Christofari supercomputer during an event to mark its launch into commercial operation inside the Sberbank PJSC data processing center (DPC) at the Skolkovo Innovation Center in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. As Sberbank expands its technology offerings, the Kremlin is backing legislation aimed at keeping the country's largest internet companies under local control by limiting foreign ownership.


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Green lights illuminate cable terminals on the Sberbank and SberCloud Christofari supercomputer during an event to mark its launch into commercial operation inside the Sberbank PJSC data processing center (DPC) at the Skolkovo Innovation Center in Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. As Sberbank expands its technology offerings, the Kremlin is backing legislation aimed at keeping the country’s largest internet companies under local control by limiting foreign ownership.

Local units of Swedbank AB and SEB AB, as well as their smaller rivals Luminor Bank AS and LHV Pank AS, will join a six-month pilot project by technology startup Salv to create a secure data-exchange tool with financial watchdogs in Estonia.

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The Baltic nation, a digital trailblazer that’s a member of the European Union and the euro area, has been clamping down on financial crime to repair its reputation after allegations that billions of dollars of illicit cash from the former Soviet Union flowed through the subsidiary of Denmark’s Danske Bank A/S in Tallinn. Like Danske, Swedbank is being investigated in Europe and the U.S. for transactions conducted at its Estonian unit. SEB has also been embroiled in the scandal.

While criminals network to legalize laundered money, banks “work in silos without an ability to exchange information as fast due to regulatory challenges,” according to Salv’s founder and chief executive, Taavi Tamkivi, who’s previously led units fighting money laundering at Transferwise Ltd. and Skype. Financial institutions have lacked the technology to make sense of the data without violating clients’ right to privacy, he said.

The new system would solve that issue. On identifying suspicious transactions, participants in the

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – London Stock Exchange

is set to be hit with a charge sheet in the coming weeks setting out the European Union’s antitrust concerns over its $27 billion purchase of data provider Refinitiv, two people familiar with the matter said.

LSE announced the proposed Refinitiv deal last year to broaden its trading business and make it a major distributor and creator of market data in a profitable and fast growing sector. It would also make it a rival to Bloomberg.

The European Commission has voiced concerns about the combined company’s large market share in the trading of European government bonds because both LSE’s MTS trading business and Refinitiv’s Tradeweb are already market leaders.

The EU competition enforcer will send a statement of objections to the companies by mid October, the people said.

In some cases, companies prefer to wait for such a document so they can tailor concessions to the concerns and avoid giving up too much.

The Commission, which is scheduled to decide on the deal by Dec. 16, declined to comment.

Last month, LSE picked Euronext

as the preferred bidder for its Borsa Italiana business, a sale aimed at addressing competition issues. Borsa Italiana, which LSE acquired in 2007, owns bond trading platform MTS.

Bloomberg was the first to report about the imminent EU charge sheet.

Refinitiv is 45%-owned by Thomson Reuters
, which owns Reuters News.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; Editing by Mark Potter)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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Radian Group RDN is well-poised for growth, driven by higher insurance in force, increased monthly premium policies, higher average investment balances and prudent capital deployment.

The company continues to benefit from strong mortgage origination market including higher refinance activity, aided by a historically low interest rate environment and increased private mortgage insurance penetration rates, which have been aiding new mortgage insurance written (NIW) to increase. Despite the risks and uncertainties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it continues to expect NIW to be more than $75 billion in 2020.

Recent trends of lower persistency and higher levels of new insurance written have contributed to a faster rate of change in the yield of mortgage insurance portfolio.

Its premium should benefit from increase in insurance in force IIF (primary driver of future premiums), higher monthly premium policies, and increase in single premium policy cancellations due to an increase in refinance activity.
Given higher investment yields, higher average investment balances owing to investing positive cash flow from operations, investment income is expected to improve despite the current low interest rate environment.

Additionally, this mortgages insurer improved its capital and liquidity positions through the extension of the maturity of unsecured revolving credit facility of $267.5 million and the issuance of $525 million aggregate principal amount of Senior Notes due 2025. Also, total debt to total capital of 28.4% compares favorably with the industry average of 30.8%.

The company increased its dividend at a six-year (2014-2020) CAGR of 99.2% and currently yields 3.4% compared with the industry average of 3%. These make the stock appealing to yield-seeking investors.

Radian’s return on equity was 11% in the trailing 12-month period, higher than the industry average of 7.5%. Return on equity is a profitability measure that identifies a company’s efficiency in utilizing its shareholders’ funds.

However, we

Oil prices are falling sharply again, with both Brent and West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures down more than 4% on Sept. 29. At this writing, Brent November deliveries are priced at $40.63 per barrel, while WTI November deliveries have fallen to $38.67 per barrel. While there isn’t one single thing behind today’s sharp decline, there’s a lot of uncertainty driving traders’ decisions. Global cases of COVID-19 are on the rise, and the global death toll has now surpassed 1 million people.

In recent weeks, most of the news in the oil patch hasn’t been particularly good for oil prices, and volatility and worries about continued oversupply and weakening demand are pushing crude lower. Oil stocks are taking a beating, with the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (NYSEMKT:XLE) down 3.1%. Oil producers and oilfield service and equipment providers, in particular, are taking it on the chin, with the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (NYSEMKT:XOP) and the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Equipment & Services ETF (NYSEMKT:XES) down 3.9% and 4.2%, respectively.

Global heavyweights resetting the market

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia shifted its focus back toward the U.S. and Asia, lowering crude prices for refining customers in both markets. This was the first time since before the coronavirus pandemic the petro giant discounted crude to the U.S. — a clear salvo at U.S. shale producers to hold off on boosting output. China soaked up an enormous amount of heavily discounted crude in the second quarter, but purchases fell off in the second quarter as Chinese ports filled with oil tankers waiting for weeks to offload shipments.

Libya also recently returned to the international oil market. Most of its oil industry has been shuttered this year due to internal strife, but a recent agreement has reopened its