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The Federal Reserve Approves Bancorp’s Acquisition Of MUFG Union Bank

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WASHINGTON – The Federal Reserve approved on Friday US Bancorp The acquisition of the core retail banking business of MUFG Union Bank, One of a series of large regional bank mergers Hanging in front of federal regulators.

Simultaneously with the approval, the organizers said they will launch Related rule making process To enhance the ability of regulators to liquidate large regional banks in an orderly manner in the event of their failure.

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Serbian parliament adopts 2023 budget, sets growth at 2.5% and deficit at 3.3% By Reuters

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© Reuters.

BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s parliament on Friday approved next year’s budget, projecting growth of 2.5% of national output and a deficit of 3.3%, down from 3.9% set for 2022, as the country grapples with a crisis stemming from the war in Ukraine.

The spending plan sets revenues at 1,843.4 billion dinars ($16.61 billion) and expenditures at 2,107.4 billion dinars.

The deficit will be covered by borrowing at home and abroad, while the public debt is expected to reach 56.1% of GDP.

Prime Minister Ana Brnabic said the budget, approved by 156 deputies in the 250-seat parliament, was designed to protect financial stability and living standards.

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“We will continue to fight for continuous increases in (public sector) salaries and pensions,” Brnabic told parliament.

The spending plan also states that 6.8% of the total funds will be allocated to capital investments, mainly in infrastructure.

The budget projects economic growth for 2023 at 2.5%, the same as in 2022. Last month the International Monetary Fund said it expected Serbia’s economy to grow 2.25% next year.

Last month, Serbia and the International Monetary Fund agreed a 2.4 billion euro ($422.08 million) two-year loan deal to help it absorb the impact of the global economic slowdown caused by the war in Ukraine.

The government’s financial council’s advisory body has warned that financing expenditures for the loss-making state-run energy utility EPS and retail gas retailer Srbijagas at 1.8% of GDP are too high.

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“The flaming problems of Serbia’s public finances … catastrophically bad operations of EPS and losses of Serbiagas,” the board said in its report.

Serbia is completely dependent on Russian gas, and its oil monopoly in Israeli shekels is owned by Gazpromneft and Gazprom (MCX:).

EPS suffers from decades of mismanagement, particularly at the coal-fired power plants that generate about 70% of the country’s electricity.

($1 = 110.9800 Serbian dinars)

($1 = 0.9477 euros)

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Your wallet is drained by subscriptions. Wall Street thank you.

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Try to calculate the number of subscriptions you have. We’ll wait.

There’s your Amazon Prime and your Spotify — the ones you married. How about that Apple TV+ subscription you’ve been meaning to cancel since you watched Ted Lasso… last summer? Scroll through your cellphone (it’s the same as another subscription) and you might find a Calm app your doctor recommended that you haven’t actually used, or a dating app you’ve used and hated, but will likely use again. There is a Chewy subscription to feed your dog DoorDash Subscribe to Feed Yourself and sign up for Peloton to work on the food you just ate. And of course, there’s also a Wall Street Journal subscription necessary to read this article.

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Norway’s $1.3 trillion wealth fund encourages traders to bet against the market

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(Bloomberg) — Nikolai Tangen, head of Norway’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund, wants traders to bet against the market.

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The world’s largest single owner of publicly traded companies, with nearly 1.3% of all listed shares, on Thursday outlined a three-year plan to limit losses that have accumulated in turbulent markets for 2022, exacerbated by soaring inflation and rising interest rates. and war in Europe. For the first time in its history, the wealth fund is looking forward to a future in which investments are a fraction of what they used to see.

This means that “excessive returns are more important than ever,” said Tangen, who has repeatedly told his countrymen to prepare for “extremely low returns.”

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Speaking in an interview Thursday, Tangen said the key to beating the benchmark would be to “push the fund to become more long-term, more ambivalent, and more active in terms of passive selection.” That is, “there are a lot of things we don’t want to own,” he said, without elaborating.

Built from the wealth of the North Sea in oil and gas, the Oslo-based fund has warned of a prolonged downturn in the markets after posting an average return of 6% over a quarter century of its existence. It lost 4.4% in the third quarter, which is equivalent to about $43 billion.

The fund has only one owner, unlike other large asset managers, is largely affiliated with the index, and invests according to a strict mandate from the Ministry of Finance. She strives to make the most of her limited field to try and beat the standard against which she is measured, something she has been able to achieve in eight of the past ten years.

“In a volatile world, you need to be more long-term and more ambivalent,” Tangen said. This is “because there will be more opportunities when you can do the opposite with everyone else.”

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He said the strategy was “playing into heightened geopolitical uncertainty” and a partial reversal of globalization, while the wealth fund released its three-year strategy. The plan sets goals such as investing in companies before they go public, voting more actively at shareholder meetings, improving cooperation between traders and portfolio managers, and exploiting periods of turmoil in real estate markets.

The fund also needs to be “more robust operationally,” Tangen said, including being prepared to counter cyberattacks. He has already said that openness and transparency are priorities to ensure that Norwegians understand why their rain fund is not growing as quickly as before.

The fund scaled back its participation in initial public offerings last year. In hindsight, he dodged a bullet, Tangen said, having bought fewer IPOs in “really frothy” markets and seeing those IPOs perform “really badly.” But that is likely to change as conditions improve.

“Selectively exploring this opportunity in the next strategy period is something we will look at,” said Equity CEO Pedro Furtado Reis. “Doing this allows us to get into the life cycle of the company earlier and hopefully as the company grows it will have a greater share of that value.”

The fund said it would consider investments in renewable energy storage and transmission in the future, which would expand the range of renewable infrastructure it would like to keep. It spent about 1.4 billion euros ($1.5 billion) on a 50% stake in a Dutch offshore wind farm in 2021, but has not added anything else to its renewable energy infrastructure portfolio.

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“It’s competitive,” Tangen said of the wind and solar projects market. “There aren’t a lot of projects out there, they’re very competitive and the returns are very low. So we just want to increase the space. Generally in the investment world, the more options you have, the better.”

The broader scope in renewables also reflects an internal effort within the fund to improve collaboration between teams and identify new investment opportunities, said Daniel Baltazar, chief equity officer.

“We may have built a few more silos than we should have,” Balthazar said. “With the advent of Nikolai, there is a much greater effort to collaborate between teams. With this collaboration between teams, we can also search in a better way across value chains.”

(Updates in detail in sixth paragraph, comments with CEO in twelfth)

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