Corporations & securities brief ~ SEC considers combined settlement in bond market probe

[JURIST] Leading Thursday's corporations and securities law news, the SEC [official website] is considering a combined settlement with several brokerage firms in its probe of the $204 billion auction-rate bond market. The SEC's investigation has uncovered several potential violations related to the sale of the bonds including manipulation of the bond's yields which increase borrowing costs for states, cities, and companies which issue the securities. A combined settlement would save the agency time and money by not having to litigate multiple cases. Bloomberg has more.

In other corporations and securities law news...

  • China, the world's largest tobacco consumer, has announced it will not allow any new tobacco factories to be built in the country. A State Tobacco Monopoly Administration [official website in Chinese] spokesperson said the move is the current excess in the country's cigarette-making capacity. The plan would jeopardize plans by British American Tobacco [corporate website] plans to become China's first foreign cigarette maker. The China Daily has more.

  • Martha Stewart's [JURIST hot topic] legal team is looking into determining whether the homemaking expert's sentence can be shortened in light of the US Supreme Court's ruling tossing out federal sentencing guidelines. JURIST's Paper Chase has more on the Supreme Court ruling. AP has more.

  • The NYSE [official website] is criticizing a SEC proposal to open order books in the markets to investors. The NYSE instead supports and alternative plan which calls for the SEC to protect the best bids and offers of the nine major stock markets. Read the SEC proposed rule [PDF]. Read the NYSE NYSE comment [PDF] and the related NYSE press release. CBSMarketWatch has more.

  • SunTrust Banks Inc. [corporate website], the nation's seventh largest bank, has announced that the SEC has opened a formal investigation in the company over recent financial restatement. The SEC has issued subpoenas seeking documents related to how much SunTrust set aside for bad loans. Read the SunTrust press release . Reuters has more.

  • Airbus [corporate website] has applied to four European governments for launch aid totaling around one billion euros to help finance its four billion euro development of its planned A350 long-range airliner. The request comes after the US and EU returned to the negotiating table before engaging in a trade battle over subsidies given to Airbus and Boeing. The Financial Times has more.

  • Imprisoned Yukos [corporate website] founder Mikhail Khodorkovsky [Wikipedia profile] has transferred his interest in the embattled oil giant to his long-time partner Leonid Nevzlin. Khodorkovsky is currently on trial [Khodorkovsky defense website] in Russia on tax fraud charges. JURIST's Paper Chase has continuing coverage of the Yukos scandal. AP has more.

  • US Airways [corporate website] has announced that federal regulators will allow the troubled airline to extend its use of cash proceeds from a federal loan through June 30. A bankruptcy court will need to approve the plan. Read the US Airways press release. Reuters has more.

  • Anthony C. Snell, a former JP Morgan vice president, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud relating to a $50,000 payment to an adviser of Philadelphia Mayor John F. Street in an attempt to win favor with the administration. AP has more.

  • RadioShack Corp. [corporate website] has announced its president, David Edmondson, would become chief executive succeeding Leonard Roberts. Roberts will remain as chairman of the company. Read the RadioShack press release. Reuters has more.
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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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