Mastercard Inc. (NYSE:MA) acquisition of VocaLink deal worries U.K. watchdog

According to the reports, U.K. Competition and Markets Authority said in a statement on Wednesday, January 4, 2017 that it is worried that Mastercard Inc. (NYSE:MA) takeover of VocaLink gives surge to competition worries, and is seeking actions from the companies to address these matters.

Meanwhile they have until Jan. 11 to suggest a solution, or the watchdog will refer the deal for an in-depth enquiry, it said.

Last year in July Mastercard Inc. (NYSE:MA) proclaimed that it was set to take over 92.4% of VocaLink Holdings Ltd. in an agreement prized at about $920 million. If the agreement concludes, a majority of VocaLink’s existing owners will keep a 7.6% stake for at least three years.

Furthermore MastercardU.K. Holdco Ltd., a subsidiary of Mastercard already possesses and functions credit and debit card schemes Mastercard, Maestro and Cirrus, and has also bid to source infrastructure services to U.K. interbank payment systems.

VocaLink’s technology offers the backbone for non-card transactions such as employer payroll deposits and consumer bill payments, handing out over 90% of salaries, more than 70% of domestic bills and almost all state benefits in the U.K.

VocaLink’s technology also unites the set-up of Britain’s automated teller machine network among its participating banks. VocaLink meanwhile posted $240 million in revenue last year and handled more than 11 billion transactions.

Moreover Vocalink is retained by a group of 18 banks and building societies, with the four biggest being Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC, Barclays PLC BARC HSBC Holdings PLC, and Lloyds Banking Group PLC.

Following the deal was announced in last July the U.K. Payment Systems Regulator said the four largest stockholders of VocaLink should sell all, or part of their holdings in the structure provider if its takeover by Mastercard (MA) doesn’t go forward, to open up the market and lift competition.

Royal Bank of Scotland Group (NYSE:RBS) settles with shareholder groups for $1.02 billion

UK lender Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC(NYSE:RBS) said in a statement that it has to pay up to $1.02 billion to settle claims with stockholder groups over prerogatives that it lied to them in the lead up to an emergency rights issue during the fiscal crisis.

RBS said it had agreed settlements with three out of the five shareholder groups without confessing mistake and said that it would “forcefully defend” claims from any parties that wouldn’t resolve. The dispute relates to a GBP12 billion cash call just before RBS was bailed out by taxpayers in 2008. The GBP800 million has already been set aside in RBS’s accounts. RBS continues to negotiate with the remaining two groups and if no agreement is reached, then a hearing is due to start in 2017.

Stockholders were suing the bank for GBP4 billion following claiming management at the time weren’t honest about the bank’s fiscal shape when it selected them for funds. The bank said that 77% of those claims are now settled.

Meanwhile EDINBURGH based RBS, which is mostly owned by the state, initiated negotiation with the stockholder groups earlier this year. Management at the bank have wanted to resolve the row that has proved a trouble from a persistent reversal plan. One of the groups, the RBS Shareholder Action Group, which indicates thousands of retail financiers, has vowed not to settle as it wants RBS’s past management, including then Chief Executive Fred Goodwin, to face a case.

Furthermore RBS continue to face a number of legal fights, including having to thrash out multibillion-dollar payments with U.S. specialists over the deal of toxic mortgage-backed securities.

Pre-Market Investor’s Watch List: Yamana Gold Inc. (USA)(NYSE:AUY), Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC(NYSE:RBS)

Yamana Gold Inc. (USA) (NYSE:AUY) stock dropped -2.37% in today’s pre market session with the price of $5.75. Over the last one month and over the past three months, Yamana Gold, Inc’s shares gained 21.02% and 47.65%, respectively. Furthermore, the stock has plummeted 218.07% since the start of this year. The company’s shares are trading 20.87% above their 50-day moving average. Additionally, Yamana Gold, Inc has an RSI of 64.60 and beta of 0.56.

YAMANA GOLD INC will release its second quarter 2016 results after market close on Thursday, July 28, 2016 followed by a conference call and webcast on Friday, July 29, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Second Quarter 2016 Conference Call Information:

Toll Free (North America):     1-866-223-7781

Toronto Local and International:        416-340-2218


Conference Call Replay:

Toll Free (North America):     1-800-408-3053

Toronto Local and International:        905-694-9451

Passcode:        1170048

The conference call replay will be available from 12:00 p.m. ET on July 29, 2016 until 11:59 p.m. ET on August 12, 2016.

For further information on the conference call or webcast, please contact the Investor Relations Department at or visit

Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC (NYSE:RBS) stock on Friday’s pre market session gained 4.03% at price of $4.91. Over the last one month and the previous three months, Royal Bank of Scotland Group’s shares lost -23.25% and ticked down -28.27%, respectively. Additionally, the stock dropped -46.79% since the beginning of 2016. The company’s shares are trading below their 50-day and 200-day moving averages by -23.33% and -37.89%, respectively.

The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc, together with its subsidiaries, provides banking and financial products and services to personal, commercial, corporate, and institutional customers worldwide. The company operates through Personal & Business Banking (PBB), Commercial & Private Banking (CPB), Corporate & Institutional Banking (CIB), Capital Resolution, Williams & Glyn, and Central Items & Other segments. It offers various traditional retail banking products, including current and savings accounts, residential mortgages, credit cards, loan products, and investment services. The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc was founded in 1727 and is headquartered in Edinburgh, the United Kingdom.