Fed pro­poses rules for for­eign banks’ cush­ion

Austin American-Statesman - - BUSINESS - Com­piled from staff and wire re­ports. kladen­dorf@states­man.com Con­tact Kirk Laden­dorf at 445-3622.

WASHINGTON — The Fed­eral Re­serve is propos­ing that large for­eign banks keep a big­ger fi­nan­cial cush­ion against un­ex­pected losses for their U.S. af­fil­i­ates.

The Fed gov­er­nors, in­clud­ing Chair­man Ben Ber­nanke, voted 7-0 at a meet­ing Fri­day to pro­pose the rules. They are aimed at prevent­ing an­other fi­nan­cial cri­sis. The rules were man­dated by the 2010 fi­nan­cial over­haul and would ap­ply to those for­eign banks with $50 bil­lion in world­wide as­sets that op­er­ate in the United States.

That means their U.S. af­fil­i­ates would be sub­jected to the same cap­i­tal re­serve re­quire­ments as U.S. banks. The U.S. op­er­a­tions would have to take the form of a bank hold­ing com­pany, putting them un­der the Fed’s over­sight.

The rules wouldn’t take ef­fect un­til July 2015.

By Kirk Laden­dorf

Austin’s He­lioVolt Corp. has raised ad­di­tional funds to sup­port its so­lar power mod­ule busi­ness, ac­cord­ing to reg­u­la­tory doc­u­ments.

The 11-year-old com­pany re­ported this week that it has raised an ad­di­tional $12.2 mil­lion in debt se­cu­ri­ties, which in­clude a right to ac­quire stock in the fu­ture.

The com­pany is in early pro­duc­tion of so­lar power pan­els that use a thin-film tech­nol­ogy to cre­ate elec­tric­ity, said John Prater, vice pres­i­dent of busi­ness devel­op­ment.

The new funds came from some of the com­pany’s ex­ist­ing in­vestors, he said.

“We con­tinue to make progress and we are thrilled by our in­vestor sup­port,” Prater said.

The com­pany has raised more than $200 mil­lion over the years to sup­port the devel­op­ment of its tech­nol­ogy and the build­ing of its man­u­fac­tur­ing plant in South­east Austin.

In Septem­ber 2011, the com­pany dis­closed a $50 mil­lion in­vest­ment from SK Group, a South Korean con­glom­er­ate that sought to ex­pand into alternative en­ergy tech­nol­ogy.

Prater de­clined to say how many work­ers the com­pany presently em­ploys.

“We do have cer­ti­fied prod­uct that we are ship­ping to a lim­ited set of tar­geted cus­tomers and test sites,” he said.

The com­pany’s other ex­ist­ing in­vestors in­clude: NEA, Pal­adin Cap­i­tal Group, Mas­dar Cap­i­tal, Mor­gan Stan­ley, Noventi Ven­tures, Pass­port Cap­i­tal and Yel­low­stone Cap­i­tal Part­ners.

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