In the hours before shareholders are set to vote on competing merger proposals, Euronext sided with a bid by the New York Stock Exchange and called a rival offer from Deutsche Borse AG "misleading." Combing the NYSE with Euronext, which operates the Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon stock markets, would create a cross-Atlantic powerhouse with tremendous influence in the world's equity markets.
Citigroup will pay $98 million to settle overtime claims by 20,000 present and past advisers -- the largest such agreement reached in the industrywide dispute. Wall Street has long argued that advisers are exempt from the overtime protection rules of the Fair Labor Standards Act, but financial institutions such as UBS, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch have settled the lawsuits rather than face off with workers in court.
The SEC sanctioned a Los Angeles investment firm for violating the Patriot Act by failing to follow rules for confirming the identities of new customers. The action against Crowell, Weedon & Co. is the first time the SEC has cited a company for violating the antiterrorism rules imposed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Avian flu could affect the property casualty insurance industry, according to an article in the May 22 issue of Insurance Journal. The article urges purchasers to consider that lawsuits could arise from people who say they contracted the bird flu from third parties or in a workplace environment.