Wells Fargo

sells branches

Wells Fargo is exiting retail banking operations in some Midwestern states.

The beleaguered San Francisco bank said Tuesday that it will sell 52 branches in Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio to a Flagstar Bancorp subsidiary, as well as several branches in Wisconsin. The branches will be renamed Flagstar when the deal is complete late this year.

Financial terms were not disclosed. Almost 500 employees will get job offers from Flagstar.

Wells Fargo has said it will reduce the number of branches it operates to approximately 5,000 by the end of 2020.

Britain sells

RBS stake

The British government has sold a 7.7 percent stake in Royal Bank of Scotland, taking a tentative step toward returning the bank to private ownership almost a decade after it was bailed out at the height of the financial crisis.

The Treasury says it sold the shares for $3.3 billion. That’s 46 percent less than the government invested in 2008 and 2009.

The sale comes only weeks after RBS agreed to pay $4.9 billion to settle claims that it misled U.S. investors who bought securities backed by risky mortgages, resolving the last remaining case from the financial crisis and clearing the way for the government to reduce its stake. It still owns 62.4 percent of RBS.


World Bank

growth outlook

The expanding global economy should remain resilient — at least for a couple of years — the World Bank says.

It predicted Tuesday that global growth will slow from a solid 3.1 percent this year to 3 percent next year and 2.9 percent in 2020.

The world economy is generally healthy, but must contend with rising interest rates in wealthier countries and weaker demand for commodities in developing nations. It also faces risks from trade disputes, financial volatility and geopolitical tensions.

The World Bank predicted that U.S. growth will be 2.7 percent in 2018, aided by tax cuts, before slowing to 2.5 percent next year and 2 percent in 2020. The 19-country eurozone will go from 2.1 percent this year to 1.7 percent next and 1.5 percent in 2020, it said.

China’s growth is projected at 6.5 percent this year, 6.3 percent in 2019 and 6.2 percent in 2020. The world’s second-biggest economy, after the United States, is trying to manage a difficult transition from breakneck growth based on often-wasteful investment to slower, steadier growth built on spending by Chinese consumers.


NAFTA switch

by president

President Trump’s top economic adviser said the president now prefers to negotiate separately with Canada and Mexico over their three-country trade deal.

But Larry Kudlow told “Fox & Friends” that Trump isn’t going to withdraw the U.S. from the North American Free Trade Agreement. Kudlow says Trump is “just going to try a different approach.”

Kudlow said Trump and his other economic advisers met several times this week and that Trump asked Kudlow to convey his new preference.

Trump’s desire for a new approach may further complicate already tense talks that have been under way for months on renegotiating NAFTA. Trump maintains the landmark free-trade deal is a “disaster” that has killed U.S. jobs and hurt manufacturing.

Social media

Twitter video

team shakeup

Twitter has dissolved its live-video team and consolidated the unit into its content partnerships team, in a move the company said is part of a broader reorganization that will make it easier to put together future deals.

Video and live streaming have become a more important part of Twitter’s push to widen its appeal among users and advertisers.

The number of daily video views on Twitter has almost doubled in the past year, and the format has contributed more than half of ad revenue for the past two quarters, the company said. It recently signed more than 30 deals with companies including Walt Disney Co. and NBCUniversal.

As part of the reorganization, the global content partnerships team, led by Kay Madati, will be run by a regional management structure, rather than one organized by categories such as news and sports. Laura Froelich, who used to lead sports partnerships, will be the new head of U.S. partnerships. Peter Greenberger, who led Twitter’s global news partnerships, and Todd Swidler, who joined the company a year ago to head live video, are leaving the company.


No flagship for Lord & Taylor

Lord & Taylor is abandoning plans to keep a store in the Fifth Avenue building it is selling to WeWork, as the chain’s owner closes more stores and focuses on online sales.

The announcement Tuesday comes about seven months after Hudson’s Bay said it would sell the century-old building to the office space sharing company. It had planned to keep less than a quarter of the 11-story building for a Lord & Taylor store.

Hudson’s Bay, which also operates Saks Fifth Avenue, said it expects to close up to 10 of its nearly 50 Lord & Taylor stores through 2019. The flagship store is expected to close in early 2019.

Chronicle News Services

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