U.S. to hand out record fine to BNP Paribas, Facebook (FB) hits 1 billion interactions and PPG Industries Inc. (PPG) to buy Comex

Markets were relatively flat on Monday morning after news was released that the U.S. government would likely be handing out a fine of nearly $9 billion to BNP Paribas. France’s largest bank will be fined over an alleged U.S. sanctions violation. There will likely be other penalties assessed, which could also include a temporary ban on certain dollar-clearing business, this could possibly affect BNP’s dividend payout and could hit BNP’s investment banking targets, some analyst predict. Those close to the case say that BNP is expected to plead guilty on criminal charges in Federal Court. A conference is expected later today from the U.S. Justice Department in Washington to announce the outcome. The bank will likely retain their banking license from the New York state banking regulator. When the details surface, it is expected to show that BNP Paribas processed $30 billion in bank transactions through the U.S. while hiding clients names that are from blacklisted countries. The majority of the transactions occurred between 2002 and 2009 with Sudanese clients. However, some say that there has been potentially illegal activity occurring as recent as 2012, while the U.S. investigation was happening. If the fine reaches $9 billion, it will go on record as the largest fine by U.S. authorities against a foreign bank.

Shares of Facebook (FB) were creeping slightly higher after the company announced they reached a record high of 1 billion interactions during the World Cup. They announced that there were 1 billion likes and comments during the World Cup. This marks the single most talked about event in the company’s history. The social media giant said that the date range was between June 12 and June 29, included nearly 220 million people with 1 billion interactions. Nick Gruden, the company’s director of partnerships said, “People are having conversations on Facebook about what the watch in a really unprecedented scale. In addition to sharing and connecting with friends, people are engaging in real time with the media and the public voices they care about most.”

Shares of PPG Industries Inc. (PPG) were up over 2.5% after the company announced that they would be buying Consorcio Comex SA de CV in a deal that will total $2.3 billion. The move will enable PPG to make more of a presence in Mexico and Central America. Comex was founded in 1952, is based in Mexico City and makes and sells coatings and other products. PPG is a paint and coating maker with headquarters in Pittsburg. Charles E. Bunch, Chief Executive of PPG, said, “The acquisition is very complementary to PPG as it adds a leading architectural coatings business in Mexico and Central America, a region where we have negligible architectural coatings presence.” We are excited to participate in the growing Mexican economy and look forward to working with the Comex team as we integrate the business into PPG.”

That’s all for today,

Warren Gates, Normandy Publishing

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