Wall St. Brief: GM Readies Ally Bid, Bank of America Slashes Staff

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is moving quickly on its staff-reduction program and will cut 16,000 jobs by year’s end leaving it with 260,000 employees, reported the Wall Street Journal. The cuts come from “Project BAC,” which will bring annual savings of $8 billion by 2015. Most layoffs will likely come from BofA’s consumer operations as the bank will look to close 200 branches in addition to the 178 shut down last year.

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BP (NYSE:BP) is negotiating to sell its 50 percent share in TNK-BP to Rosneft for $10-$15 billion in cash and at least 12.5 percent of the latter’s shares, reported Kommersant. To pay for the transaction, some reports have said Rosneft will try to raise $15-$20 billion in debt from foreign and Russian banks. On Tuesday, the two companies met with Vladimir Putin to discuss the deal.

On Wednesday, Nike (NYSE:NKE) said it will repurchase $8 billion worth of class B shares in a four-year program. It will begin doing so after the completion of an existing $5 billion program in 2013’s fiscal quarter two. CVS Caremark (NYSE:CVS) also said yesterday it would repurchase up to $6 billion in shares. This comes as CVS’s shares are trading at record highs.

After an investigation following the phone-hacking scandal, British media regulator Ofcom has determined that News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) affiliate BSkyB (BSYBY.PK) is “fit and proper to hold its broadcast licenses.” But the regulator dissed former Sky Chairman James Murdoch, now News Corp.’s deputy COO, by saying his behavior was “difficult to comprehend and ill-judged,” and that he “repeatedly fell short” of his responsibilities.

GM (NYSE:GM) is getting ready to bid this week for Ally Financial’s auto-lending operations in Europe and Latin America; it isn’t pursuing either Ally’s Canadian operations or its Mexican auto insurer, reported Bloomberg. With an acquisition of the units, it would more than double GM Financial’s assets.

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