A proposed merger in Malaysia will create the first Islamic bank that will have enough clout to challenge conventional, often Western, banks.» Read More
Stocks finished lower as new worries about the mortgage lending market depressed financial shares and a late surge in oil prices drove energy stocks higher. "Crude rallied 4% in 10 minutes and it just turned energy stocks on a dime," said Michael Driscoll, Senior Managing Director in Equity Trading at Bear Stearns.
Europe's biggest bank, HSBC Holdings, said its charge for bad debts would be more than $10.5 billion for 2006, some 20% above analysts' average forecasts, due to problems in its U.S. mortgage book.
Shares of sub-prime mortgage lenders fall as HSBC warns that bad debts from lower-quality loans will hurt its results.
China's banking regulator has received eight applications from foreign banks for local registration, which it would begin processing Monday, a first step in granting national treatment.
Oracle boosted its offer for India's i-flex solutions by 42%, with the aim to buy an additional 35% of the banking software provider for $1.3 billion.
Stocks closed higher following mostly positive news about the U.S. economy and gains from several major blue-chip companies.