Citizens raises $1.75B in offering

Jun 20, 2008

Orlando Sentinel--June 20, 2008

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. said Thursday that it now has $1.75 billion in financing for its high-risk account. The state-backed insurer obtained the funding by selling one- and three-year securities, and said it would use the money to pay future claims in its high-risk portfolio. Citizens also has obtained a $1.6 billion credit line for its personal and commercial lines accounts. John Forney, managing director with Raymond James, which is Citizens’ adviser, said the addition of the $1.75 billion means Citizens has more than $20 billion in claims paying capacity.

Citi warns of more write-downs

Citigroup Inc.’s chief financial officer on Thursday warned that the nation’s largest bank by assets would suffer more "substantial" write-downs on debt investments in the second quarter. CFO Gary Crittenden, speaking at a conference hosted by Deutsche Bank, also said that there will likely be more write-downs related to leveraged loans and bond insurers. He said that credit costs on the whole would be higher in the second quarter than in the first due largely to reserve builds in the mortgage portfolio. Citi wrote down more than $14 billion in the first quarter.

WaMu cuts 1,200 more jobs

Washington Mutual Corp., the nation’s largest savings and loan, said Thursday it slashed 1,200 jobs — about 2.6 percent of its work force — as part of a plan to cut costs and become profitable again. WaMu, staggering under the rising cost of delinquencies and foreclosures, said in a statement that the layoffs were made in three areas: home loans, jobs not tied to "mission-critical activities," and positions lost as the company centralizes support functions. Before Thursday’s announced cuts, WaMu had 45,883 employees. The cuts follow an earlier, more devastating round of layoffs. In December, the Seattle-based thrift slashed more than 3,100 jobs as it shuttered its subprime lending business, closed home-loan centers and pared down corporate and support ranks.

No word on Anheuser-Busch meeting

Anheuser-Busch’s top financial officer on Thursday declined to comment on a report that the company’s board of directors will meet this week for the first time since InBev SA announced its $65-a-share, $46 billion takeover bid. The Financial Times reported that the board will consider a variety of options, including the valuation of InBev’s bid. Anheuser-Busch shares slipped 85 cents to $61.05 Thursday.