Scotiabank to buy ING's Canadian bank

ING Group is selling its Canadian retail bank to Scotiabank for $3.88 billion in cash. The Dutch megabank said the deal will help sharpen its focus on core businesses and strengthen its balance sheet. The division, called ING Direct Canada, offers savings, checking, mutual fund and mortgage products through telephone representatives and online access. ING says the division has about 1.8 million customers in Canada.

Pending home sales up 2.4 percent in July

Americans signed more contracts to purchase previously owned homes in July, a sign housing will keep strengthening in the second half. The index of pending home resales climbed 2.4 percent, exceeding the 1 percent gain median forecast of 39 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, figures from the National Association of Realtors showed. The gauge rose to 101.7, the highest since April 2010. Home buying is coming within reach for more Americans as less expensive properties and record-low borrowing costs combine to stabilize the industry that helped trigger the recession.

French banks pulling out of troubled Greece

France's biggest banks are preparing to pull out of Greece in the coming weeks, the latest large international business to abandon the country as it grapples with a debilitating recession and nagging questions about its future in the eurozone. Societe Generale said Wednesday that it was in advanced discussions to sell its 99.1 percent stake in Geniki Bank, one of Greece's biggest financial institutions, to Piraeus Bank of Greece. On Tuesday, Credit Agricole, another large French lender, said it expected to sign a deal to sell its troubled Greek arm, Emporiki Bank, to another Greek bank in a matter of weeks.

SEC may open door to ads by hedge funds

Hedge funds may soon advertise to investors like you. Securities regulations have barred hedge funds and other private investment vehicles from advertising and marketing to the general public for more than 30 years. But the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, or JOBS Act, enacted this year requires the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to ease the ban. Under the new rules put forth by the SEC, those who take part in private offerings would still need to be investors that meet certain income or net worth requirements.

Ryanair again thwarted in bid for Aer Lingus

Ryanair said that it was letting its nearly $900 million takeover offer for Aer Lingus lapse amid news that European competition regulators planned an extended review of the bid -- the Dublin-based low-cost airline's third attempt to win control of the Irish flag carrier in six years. But Ryanair said it would bid again for its rival next year if the inquiry by Brussels raises no major objections.

US Airways ends talks with American labor

US Airways Group Inc. suspended merger talks with labor groups at takeover target American Airlines after a request from the bankrupt carrier, the union for US Airways pilots said. The union disclosed that step in a message to members after Chief Executive Doug Parker and other executives met with American pilot leaders on Aug. 23.

Samsung rolls out new Galaxy Note phone

Samsung Electronics Co. unveiled a new version of the pen-equipped Galaxy Note smartphone as it seeks to defend its lead over Apple Inc. amid global patent disputes with the iPhone maker. The model has a 5.5-inch screen, larger than its predecessor, and runs Google's Android operating system.

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