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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: CME Group, Whitestone REIT, Bank of America, U.S. Bancorp and Wells Fargo

Zacks Equity Research

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – June 13, 2013 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include CME Group Inc. (CME-Free Report), Whitestone REIT (WSR-Free Report), Bank of America Corp. (BAC-Free Report), U.S. Bancorp (USB-Free Report) and Wells Fargo & Company (WFC-Free Report).

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Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

CME to Launch European Futures

Chicago-based exchange company CME Group Inc. (CME-Free Report) announced an agreement to introduce European futures market. To realize this maneuver, the company has commenced a program to test the platform’s trading systems with prospective clients.  

The launch of its London-based CME Europe venture is expected on Sep 9, 2013 subject to approval from U.K. regulators. The initial launch date was delayed by three months owing to the pending approval from the Financial Conduct Authority, the new U.K. exchange regulator

The launch is planned to commence with currency futures contracts. The initial launch will offer 30 contracts which will include futures in denominations including euro, sterling, U.S. dollar, yen, Swiss Franc, Canadian dollar and other currencies. The new contracts might be denominated in European or Asian currencies.

Subsequently, contracts related to equities, interest rates and commodity prices might also be introduced. New contracts would be launched part by part as management is of the opinion that the market at present would not be able to handle a host of new products simultaneously.

This venture marks the company’s first overseas exchange that aims to cater to prospective European and Asian clients. For clients who prefer to trade futures under the U.K. bankruptcy regime over the U.S. market are expected to be facilitated through the launch.

BofA Reaches Out to Whitestone REIT

Texas-based Whitestone REIT (WSR-Free Report) has proved its creditworthiness with Bank of America Corp. (BAC-Free Report) extending its reach and joining the group of top tier banks that provide the former with unsecured revolving credit facility worth $175 million.

Specifically, Bank of America united with Bank of Montreal, U.S. Bancorp (USB-Free Report) and Wells Fargo & Company (WFC-Free Report) in the syndicated facility. However, the stipulations of the recently enhanced $175 million facility with a $50 million accordion element remain unchanged.

Through improvement in creditworthiness, the company can capitalize on its relationship with these top tier banks and efficiently finance its strategic moves so as to ride high on the growth trajectory.

The expanded credit facility would help Whitestone REIT enhance its financial flexibility. The company has plans for diversifying the funds into a number of strategic moves including buy-outs, renovation of value-add properties in its portfolio, besides meeting its other corporate needs.

Whitestone REIT is focused on community centered property business model through owning, managing, leasing, and operating over 4.4 million square feet of space, largely occupied by small, service-based tenants. The company aims at broadening its footprint by tactically acquiring commercial properties in high-growth markets.

Founded in 1998, Whitestone REIT is a fully-integrated real estate investment trust (:REIT) that owns, operates and re-develops community centered properties, which are visibly located properties in established or developing culturally diverse neighborhoods. Its portfolio of commercial properties is located in Texas, Ariz., and Ill.

Whitestone REIT currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).

Today, Zacks is promoting its ''Buy'' stock recommendations. Get #1Stock of the Day pick for free.

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