4 Financial Stock Stories Making Tuesday Headlines

The Blackstone Group (NYSE:BX): Current price $23.19

A knowledgeable source said Tuesday that Blackstone is looking into divesting its budget hotel chain La Quinta Inns & Suites — valued roughly at $4.5 billion. To that effect, Blackstone has hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley to examine an outright sale of La Quinta, but at the same time prepare it for the possibility of an initial public offering, according to the unnamed source. Blackstone would not comment and representatives of La Quinta, JPMorgan, and Morgan Stanley did not immediately respond to requests for the same.

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UBS AG (NYSE:UBS): Current price $20.28

The big Swiss bank will shell out $49.8 million to resolve Securities and Exchange Commission charges that it misled investors in regards to a mortgage bond transaction structured before the 2008 financial crisis, according to the Commission on Tuesday. It said that the payment settles an inquiry into ACA ABS 2007-02, a collateralized debt obligation that UBS formed in 2007.

The SEC said that UBS received $23.6 million in upfront payments while buying credit default swaps as collateral for the CDO. Beyond that, the SEC said that instead of transferring the cash to the CDO, the bank kept the full amount, did not disclose it to investors, and incorrectly represented its cost of purchasing the collateral. UBS did not admit any misconduct in the deal.

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Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C): Current price $51.519

Citigroup’s CitiFX Pro, the award-winning margin FX platform, has introduced a new MetaTrader 4 offering free virtual private servers to both trial and live account holders. Clients may access the MetaTrader 4 interface by means of desktop download, mobile app or free VPS. The MetaTrader 4 platform was built by MetaQuotes Software Corp., a firm specializing in Forex B2B platform development. Beyond enhancing the core MetaTrader 4 offering, Citi’s re-launch increases accessibility through mobile and enables features popular among MetaTrader 4 traders.

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Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE:WFC): Current price $44.06

Wells Fargo attorney Bart Williams said that the company did not withhold material information regarding its securities-lending program from institutional investors and thus is not liable for any losses. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota, together with 11 other plaintiffs, sued Wells Fargo two years ago claiming that the firm marketed a risky program as safe — and then cost investors millions of dollars.

For its part, Wells Fargo has denied misleading the investors and blamed losses on the financial crisis. In closing arguments at the resulting trial Tuesday at a federal court in St. Paul, Williams said that, “Nothing Wells Fargo did or did not do harmed investors in this case. You can find yourself in a position, as Wells Fargo did, where all of a sudden your securities are illiquid, you can’t sell them.”

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