Financial Business Review: Public Auctions and Assurant’s Stock Price Plunge

Public auctions will be held by the Treasury to sell its preferred stock position in Banner Corp (NASDAQ:BANR), First Financial Holdings (NASDAQ:FFCH), MainSource Financial (NASDAQ:MSFG), Seacoast Banking (NASDAQ:SBCF), Wilshire Bancorp (NASDAQ:WIBC) and WSFS Financial (NASDAQ:WSFS). This is a part of Treasury’s plan to undo the effects of the bailout.

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Another dividend hike for real estate sector firm Newcastle Investment (NYSE:NCT) in less than a year, this time up 33 percent to $0.20 a share. A 12.9 percent yield makes the shares quite attractive.

In an agreement in principle with an insurer believed to be MBIA (NYSE:MBI), UBS (NYSE:UBS) will accept a net cash payment for the commutation of certain credit default swap contracts. The monoline insurer’s name does not appear in the SEC filing, however.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones gives insurers until April 1 to lower rates for clients who lapsed on their previous homeowner policies. Accordingly, shares of Assurant (NYSE:AIZ) — one of the 10 biggest California “lender-placed coverage” insurers — plummeted.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Lawson at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at