Nikolay Storonsky is the founder and CEO of fintech start-up, Revolut.

Revolut, the biggest European digital bank with 13 million users, is close to applying for a banking license in the U.S., CNBC has learned exclusively.

The London-based fintech firm plans on applying for a charter with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and California’s Division of Financial Institutions within weeks, said people with knowledge of the matter.

The move from Revolut, valued at $5.5 billion in a February fundraising round, is the latest example of one of a new breed of digital challengers seeking to become a regulated bank. In March, payments giant Square won approval to start a bank. Earlier this year, Lending Club, a fintech pioneer, bought Radius Bank for $185 million in part to gain a national bank charter.

Even though Revolut’s bank charter will be with California, it will allow the lender to operate widely throughout the U.S. via interstate agreements, said one of the people, who declined to be identified speaking about the start-up’s private plans.

Still, its move to apply for a state banking charter rather than one through a national regulator like the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency drew questions from some industry observers.

The U.S. financial regulatory regime is large and fragmented, and fintech startups have taken several different approaches to breaking into the market. The most successful so far, like Chime and Current, have simply partnered with existing banks.

Square’s bank will be an industrial-loan company based in Utah and supervised by the Utah Department of Financial Institutions and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Last month, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken Financial won a bank license in Wyoming.

Meanwhile, state financial regulators have clashed with the OCC over its move to create a special charter for fintech firms.

Chad

By Ron Bousso

LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters)BP BP.L started production at Oman’s giant Ghazeer natural gas field in Oman which is set to underpin the company’s oil and gas output for years even as it shifts to renewables.

The London-based company said in a statement that Ghazeer, the second phase of development of Block 61, started four months ahead of schedule and below its planned budget.

BP is in the midst of the largest overhaul in its history after CEO Bernard Looney set out a path to rapidly shift BP to renewable power and reduce its oil and gas production by 1 million barrels per day by 2030.

But oil and gas is set to help pay for the shift in the coming decade.

“It is absolutely central for BP because it generates the funding allowing us to invest in new businesses and transform the company,” Gordon Birrell, BP head of oil and gas operations, told Reuters.

BP, which wants to sell $25 billion of assets by 2025, is in talks to sell down its stake in Oman, industry sources have told Reuters.

The first phase, Khazzan, was brought online in September 2017. Total production capacity from the block is expected to reach 1.5 billion cubic feet of gas a day and more than 65,000 barrels a day of associated condensate.

BP holds 60% of the Block 61 project, Oman’s national oil and gas company 30% and Malaysia’s Petronas PETRA.UL another 10%.

(Reporting by Ron Bousso, editing by Louise Heavens)

(([email protected]; +44 (0) 2075422161; Reuters Messaging: [email protected]))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The large hospital operator HCA Healthcare Thursday said it will “return, or repay early” about $6 billion in federal stimulus money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, known as CARES.

HCA, one of the nation’s biggest hospital operators, has been performing well financially and earlier this year reported a profit of more than $800 million in its second quarter thanks to CARES Act funds.

The CARES Act was designed to provide relief to providers of medical care who gain reimbursement even if patients have no health insurance coverage. Congress said the money can be used for costs related to treating Covid-19 patients or providers can use it to reimburse for lost revenue related to the pandemic.

In HCA’s case, the hospital operator said it received $1.6 billion in so-called “provider relief fund distributions” and another $4.4 billion in accelerated payments from the Medicare health insurance program for elderly Americans.

But HCA chief executive officer Sam Hazen said Thursday “the initial immediacy of the emergency has passed” so the operator of more than 180 hospitals is ready to give the money back to the government.

“With more information, and more experience managing our operations during the pandemic, we believe returning these taxpayer dollars is appropriate and the socially responsible thing to do,” Hazen said. “We greatly appreciate the CARES Act funding and the policymakers who fought hard to ensure hospitals would have the essential resources during the pandemic.”

HCA in July said it was seeing an increasing demand for elective surgeries that were cancelled or postponed as inpatient facilities across the country freed up space for patients infected with

McDonald’s  (MCD) – Get Report, the world’s largest fast-food restaurant chain, reported that its U.S. comparable-store sales rose 4.6% in the third quarter, while its global comparable sales slid 2.2%.

The company also raised its dividend payable in December by 3% to $1.29 a share from $1.25 in September.

In the U.S, sales benefited from “strong average check growth from larger group orders as well as strong performance at the dinner daypart,” McDonald’s said in a statement.

“The company’s strategic marketing investments and resulting promotional activity drove low double-digit comparable sales for the month of September, including positive comparable sales across all dayparts. Comparable guest counts remained negative for the quarter,” the company added.

McDonald’s also said it benefited from a meal promotion with musician Travis Scott and faster service at its drive-throughs.

In international developmental licensed markets, McDonald’s suffered “negative comparable sales in Latin America and China, partly offset by strong positive comparable sales in Japan.”

In international operated markets, “comparable sales varied across markets with negative comparable sales in France, Spain, Germany and the U.K., partly offset by positive comparable sales in Australia,” McDonald’s said.

“Comparable sales results improved throughout the quarter, with consumer sentiment and government regulations impacting the pace of recovery from Covid-19. Limited operations also remained in place for some markets.”

In the U.S., fast food restaurants have benefited at the expense of sit-down eateries during the coronavirus pandemic, as consumers shy away from spending much time in public places.

McDonald’s shares recently traded at $228.01, up 0.71%. McDonald’s has gained 15% year to date through Wednesday.

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Amazon and Whole Foods have come a long way since merging in 2017, with the grocer emphasizing upping its game with technology.

“Some evolutions have occurred. We are a little more data-driven now than we used to be,” said CEO John Mackey during an interview with Maria Bartiromo on “Mornings with Maria” Wednesday. He added, “Amazon is helping alter our technology and upgrading it.”

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CORONAVIRUS PROMPTS AMAZON TO CONVERT MORE WHOLE FOODS LOCATIONS TO ONLINE DELIVERY ONLY

The $13.7 billion deal has allowed the grocer to tap Amazon’s Prime Members, which number over 100 million. He then hinted that the companies are working on even more technological advancements though he declined to detail what that will look like.

“I can’t talk about what we’re going to be opening up, I would be tipping off our competitors,” he said. “But I think we are going to be doing some exciting things.”

This as food retailing evolves “at a pretty rapid clip” he added noting it will be very different in five years’ time.

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Amazon, founded by billionaire Jeff Bezos, has been a good partner for Mackey who compared the combination to a good marriage.

“Amazon has not messed with our higher purpose, our core values, our leadership principles,” he said. “They’ve let Whole Foods be Whole Foods.”

Whole Foods has 487 stores across the nation emplpoying 95,000 people.

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