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Tag: Bank

Israel approves first West Bank settler homes since Gulf deals

Israel approved 2,166 new homes in settlements across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, official figures sent to AFP showed, ending an eight-month lull in settlement expansion. 

The approvals came less than a month after the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements to normalise relations with Israel, which in return pledged to freeze its plans to annex swathes of the West Bank.

NGO Peace Now said the settlement uptick signals Israel’s rejection of Palestinian statehood and deals a blow to hopes of a wider Israeli-Arab peace.

It said that around 2,000 more homes are expected to be approved on Thursday.

“Netanyahu is moving ahead at full steam toward solidifying the de facto annexation of the West Bank,” it said in a statement ahead of Wednesday’s decisions.

US President Donald Trump sees the Gulf accords as part of his broader initiative for Middle East peace.

But a controversial plan he

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Hawaiian defense contractor with Maine offices charged with bank fraud

A Hawaiian defense contractor whose business has offices and employees in Maine has been accused of falsifying loan applications to receive $12.8 million in federal funds from a coronavirus relief program.

Martin Kao was arrested Wednesday and charged with bank fraud and money laundering. The news was first reported by Civil Beat, a Hawaii-based investigative news organization.

According to a 37-page criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, Kao is suspected of lying on two applications to receive funds under the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, part of the CARES Act passed by Congress in late March to address the pandemic. Maine Sen. Susan Collins was a co-author of the act.

Kao and several of his employees have donated to Collins’ reelection campaign, and the two appeared together in Maine last summer when Collins announced an $8 million federal contract to his company, Navartek LLC, now known

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Bank of England seeks to increase competition in home loans

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England (BoE) set out proposals on Wednesday to end unfair advantages some banks have in calculating how much capital to hold for mortgages in a bid to increase competition.

Some bigger banks can use their own internal models for determining the risk weightings and therefore capital levels for home loans they have granted.

Typically this has resulted in lower capital levels than under the so-called standardised approach to risk weightings set out by regulators that many smaller lenders have to use.

The BoE’s banks supervision arm, the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), said it wanted to reduce risks that stem from “inappropriately” low risk weightings that can be thrown up by in-house models.

“For those firms whose risk weights may increase as a result of these proposals, and where capital requirements are not already determined by other capital measures (e.g. leverage), there would be costs

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Loan Growth to Aid Bank OZK’s (OZK) Top Line Amid Low Rates

Bank OZK OZK remains well-poised for top-line growth, supported by steadily improving loans along with its strategic growth initiatives. Moreover, given a solid balance sheet position, the company will likely continue to enhance shareholder value through efficient capital deployment activities.

However, pressure on margins remains a major near-term concern for Bank OZK. Continuously increasing operating expenses and the company’s exposure toward risky loans are other major headwinds.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for its current-year earnings has been unchanged over the past 30 days. As a result, the company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Over the past six months, shares of Bank OZK have gained 12.7% compared with a rise of 3.1% of the industry it belongs to.

Looking at fundamentals, though the company’s revenues declined in 2019 and the first half of 2020, the same witnessed a CAGR of 22.8% over the last six years (2014-2019), mainly driven

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