Investors were waiting intently for the world's most-used Internet search engine, Google, to be given the go-ahead for its initial public offering. But the OK from the Securities and Exchange Commission was not yet forthcoming as the Monitor went to press, and some of the luster already had come off the much-anticipated sale. The company cut the price range for the IPO from its original $108-$135 to between $85 and $95. According to a statement on its website late Tuesday, Google founders and senior executives also had halved the number of shares each was contributing to the sale, lowering the overall number from 25.7 million to 19.6 million. That stood to reduce the company's goal for the IPO to not much more than half the original $3.6 billion, although such an outcome still would make it the largest yet for an Internet stock. The Securities and Exchange Commission did not authorize the sale Tuesday, as hoped, and was being asked by Google to declare it in effect as of 4 p.m. Wednesday. Such a declaration normally is routine, and the agency's spokesman declined to discuss the reason for the delay.
ING US Financial Services was identified as the client planning to withdraw $5 billion from Janus Capital Group Inc., the Denver mutual-fund giant that in April agreed to a $225 million-plus settlement with federal and state regulators over alleged improper trading. In announcing the planned withdrawal in late July, Janus did not identify which of its clients was exiting with almost 4 percent of the fund's assets under management. The removal is subject to regulatory approval.
Hundreds of Fleet Bank tellers and branch employees were expected to be laid off Wednesday by their new employer, Bank of America, The Boston Globe reported. Bank of America, based in Charlotte, N.C., bought the roughly 1,500-branch network of FleetBoston Financial Corp. in the spring for $48 billion. At the time, it said it didn't anticipate laying off Fleet employees although it intended to shrink its operations by 12,500 jobs. The Bank of America model calls for using fewer full-time workers per branch.