BlackRock (NYSE:BLK), the largest asset manager in the world, intends to lend its clients’ money to infrastructure projects in Europe in its strategy to use the rising investor demand for railways and roads through which to fill the financing gap caused by banks who are pulling back. On Monday, the firm announced that it will introduce a European infrastructure debt division, which will lend to companies in such sectors as transportation and regulated utilities.
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Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) is named the “Buy of the Week” by Charles Rotblut, editor of AAII Journal, who cited the firm’s solid dividend along with innovative products and a valuation that should be alluring. Rotblut, appearing on MoneyLife with Chuck Jaffe, conceded that negative sentiment has surrounded Aflac primarily because of its exposure to Europe, but he thinks the worries are overblown given Aflac’s impressive growth in Japan and its reduced exposure to fixed-income securities.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) has been sued in the New York Supreme Court by CIFG Assurance North America which claims that it lost more than $100 million on collateralized debt obligations created by Bear Stearns, the investment bank that JPMorgan purchased back in 2008. In the allegations, CIFG says that Bear Stearns stocked the CDOs with toxic mortgage securities and then benefitted by betting against the portfolio. For its part, the plaintiff says that Bear Stearns told CIFG that the collateral had been chosen by independent firms. The complaint concludes that, “As a result of its fraud, Bear Stearns was able to pass off huge losses onto CIFG.”