Magazine article Business Credit

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Magazine article Business Credit

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Montana Reduces Retainage Level On Public Contracts

On April 15, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) signed into law a reduction in the maximum retainage rate from 10 to 5 percent on public works. The law also establishes equal retainage levels for all tiers, and provides for interest on late progress payments and line-item release of retainage. The law will take effect on Oct. 1, 2005.

Source: ASA

NYSE To Merge With Electronic Rival

The 213-year-old New York Stock Exchange announced a merger with all-electronic rival Archipelago Holdings Inc., taking Wall Street by surprise, and transforming the NYSE into a for-profit, publicly traded enterprise. By offering a fast electronic option alongside the slower but less volatile floor-based operation, the NYSE hopes to effectively compete with its chief U.S. rival, the Nasdaq Stock Market Inc., and attack increasing global competition. The new entity, a holding company to be called NYSE Group Inc., will spin off the NYSE's regulatory arm into a not-for-profit oversight entity. That part of the deal responds to the demands of some NYSE members who have been demanding the exchange turn into a for-profit in order to better compete as a business. The exchange will not trade Nasdaq-listed stocks on the floor of the NYSE, but will continue to trade them through ArcaEx's electronic market. The NYSE also will continue its plan to create a hybrid market, combining its floor trading with an enhanced electronic system being developed. The merger improves the NYSE's ability to compete, following the securities and Exchange Commission's approval in April of the Regulation National Market System. The regulation requires stock traders to accept the best bid or offer available, no matter which stock exchange or market posted it-but customers could go to another market if they want to complete trades as quickly as possible. The management teams of the two companies will be integrated. Pending regulatory approval, the merger is expected to be completed in either the fourth quarter of this year or the first quarter of 2006.

Source: The Washington Post

SEC Chairman Says Agency Weighing Revisions To Anti-Fraud Law Requirements

The chairman of the securities and Exchange Commission told Congress that the agency was weighing changes to reporting requirements for companies. Key requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, born of corporate scandals, are getting critical scrutiny, as scores of companies complain that the rules are too burdensome, costly and need to be changed. …

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