Archive for August, 2009

Guaranty Financial files Chapter 11 (Reuters)

Friday, August 28th, 2009 | Finance News

NEW YORK (Reuters) –
Guaranty Financial Group Inc (GFGF.PK) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, less than a week after regulators seized its banking unit and sold most of its assets to the Spanish bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA.MC).

The Austin, Texas-based company and three affiliates filed for protection from creditors on Thursday with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Dallas.

Guaranty said it had $24.3 million of assets and $323.4 million of debts as of June 30. Its filing includes the holding company, which was not part of the August 21 asset sale to BBVA.

The bank is the second-largest to fail in the United States this year, after Montgomery, Alabama's Colonial BancGroup Inc (CBCGQ.PK), according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Colonial filed for bankruptcy protection on Tuesday.

Guaranty had been the third-largest publicly traded bank in Texas. Its banking unit had roughly $13 billion of assets, $12 billion of deposits, 103 branches in Texas and 59 branches in California, the FDIC said.

It collapsed from losses on mortgage-backed securities, whose value tumbled as falling real estate valuations caused defaults on the underlying loans to increase substantially, and on loans it made itself.

Guaranty's largest investors included Carl Icahn and Robert Rowling, whose investment firm owns the Omni Hotels chain.

BBVA agreed to buy about $12 billion of Guaranty Bank's assets. The FDIC agreed to share in losses on $11 billion.

The largest publicly traded banks based in Texas include Comerica Inc (CMA.N) and Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc (CFR.N).

Guaranty has said it began operations in 1988, and was spun off in December 2007 by Temple-Inland Inc (TIN.N), a corrugated packaging and building products company.

The case is In re Guaranty Financial Group Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of Texas (Dallas), No. 09-35582.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Richard Chang)

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Whirlpool to cut about 1,100 jobs (Reuters)

Friday, August 28th, 2009 | Finance News

BANGALORE (Reuters) –
Whirlpool Corp (WHR.N) plans to shut a manufacturing facility in Evansville, Indiana, and move some production to Mexico next year, a change that will eliminate about 1.6 percent of its workforce.

The world's biggest appliance maker, which has beaten expectations in the last two quarters due to aggressive cost- cutting, said the move to eliminate some 1,100 full-time positions in the United States would not affect its 2009 forecast.

But Whirlpool representative Jill Saletta refused to share specific information about the expected cost savings from the move.

Whirlpool said it was deciding on the best location for its Refrigeration Product Development Center, which is co-located with the Evansville manufacturing facility and has about 300 employees.

While the company plans to transfer production of top freezer refrigerators made at the facility to a unit in Mexico, it has not yet determined where to relocate its icemakers.

Whirlpool has already consolidated its Chinese operations, reduced its contribution to retirement plans, closed plants and cut capital spending to curb costs during the slump.

The company, which said its 2009 earnings and cash flow outlook remain unchanged, in July raised the low end of its 2009 earnings estimate to $3.50 a share from $3.00, while keeping the high end at $4.00.

Whirlpool shares were up 25 cents at $64.79 in early afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

(Reporting by Jessica Wohl and Dhanya Skariachan; editing by Gerald E. McCormick and Andre Grenon)

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FTSE shares close up on positive data (AFP)

Friday, August 28th, 2009 | Finance News

LONDON (AFP) –
London stocks finished up on Friday after data showed Britain's recession was not as deep as expected in the second quarter.

The benchmark FTSE 100 index of leading shares climbed 0.81 percent higher to end at 4,908.9 points.

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) was the most traded stock, seeing 155 million units change hands, followed by Lloyds Banking Group (LBG), which saw 128 million shares switch owners.

LBG topped the leaders board, gaining 6.64 pence -- or 6.34 percent -- to close at 111.34,followed by miner Kazakhmys, which was up 51.5 pence -- or 5.5 percent -- to close at 988.5.

The day's biggest casualty was consulting group Serco, shedding14.6 pence -- or 3.02 percent -- to close at 468.3, followed by electricity and water company United Utilities, which lost 12.9 pence -- or 2.77 percent -- to close at 452.8.

Elsewhere, the pound climbed against the dollar and inched up against the euro.

Sterling was worth 1.6330 US dollars at 15:58 BST, up from 1.6285 at Thursday's close, while it rose to1.1366 euros from 1.339 over the same period.

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