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Sept. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The fallout from the collapse of the Espirito Santo empire spread to the Middle East as regulators froze deposits at a private bank in Dubai.
The emirate’s financial regulator also forbade ES Bankers (Dubai) Ltd. from accepting more money from existing or new clients, it said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. It attributed its decision to the failure of a Swiss private bank, Banque Privee Espirito Santo SA, to repay debts to ES Bankers (Dubai).
Both the Swiss and the Dubai banks were owned by Espirito Santo Financial Group SA, a Luxembourg-based holding company under creditor protection. ESFG was a shareholder of Banco Espirito Santo SA, the bailed-out Portuguese bank that nearly collapsed last month in connection with the Espirito Santo family’s debt woes.
The Dubai Financial Services Authority said it was protecting the interests of the bank’s depositors and other clients.
Switzerland’s financial regulator is investigating the role of Banque Privee, which is now being wound down, in the distribution of securities and financial products of the group.
Banco Espirito Santo was Portugal’s biggest publicly traded lender by market value before losses on loans to units of the group wiped out much of its capital.
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. are also among agencies investigating Espirito Santo Bank, the lender’s Miami-based unit.
SEC Sued by Oxfam Over Dodd-Frank Rule on Resource Payments
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was sued by Oxfam America Inc. and accused of failing to issue a rule requiring energy and mining companies to disclose payments to governments for the extraction of natural resources.
The disclosures, authorized by the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, would help fight “corruption, mismanagement and poverty,” by giving citizens of resource-rich countries information about their governments’ oil and mineral revenue, the relief and development group said yesterday in a statement about the suit, which was filed in Boston federal court.
The American Petroleum Institute and other business groups challenged an early version of the rule, arguing that it would harm competitiveness and violate companies’ free-speech rights. A court in Washington tossed out that version of the rule in July 2013 and told the SEC to try again.
The agency has “unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed” issuing a final rule or proposing a new one, the group said in its filing. Oxfam is seeking a court order to force the agency to issue the rule.
John Nester, a spokesman for the SEC, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
The case is Oxfam America Inc. v. SEC, 14-13648, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).
Alibaba IPO Has ‘Significant’ Investor Risk, Casey Says
U.S. Senator Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, talked about risks he feels are associated with the initial public offering by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and the SEC’s review of the proposed transaction.
Alibaba is scheduled to begin trading today in a deal which could make it the largest IPO in history. Casey spoke with Emily Chang and Cory Johnson on Bloomberg Television’s “Bloomberg West.”
For the video, click here, and for more, click here.
Comings and Goings
Gill Marcus to Step Down as S. African Central Bank Governor
South African central bank Governor Gill Marcus said she will step down from her post when her five-year term ends in November.
Marcus, who turned 65 on Aug. 10, said she informed President Jacob Zuma that she won’t resume her post when her contract expires on Nov. 8. The surprise announcement was made in response to a question at a scheduled press conference in Pretoria.
For the video, click here.
--With assistance from Karen Gullo in federal court in San Francisco, Andrew Zajac, David J. Lynch and Robert Schmidt in Washington and Matthew Martin in Dubai.
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