Chicago group to buy the Amex from Nasdaq

The National Association of Securities Dealers, which oversees the Nasdaq Stock Market, has agreed to sell the century-old American Stock Exchange for $110 million to a Chicago-based private-equity firm, officials said Monday.

The NASD signed a document Friday to sell the Wall Street-based Amex market to the private-equity firm GTCR Golder Rauner LLC after nearly a year of talks.

Collin Roche, a principal at GTCR, said the firm thought “Amex has strong opportunities to grow in its existing product classes while also introducing new products.”

The NASD acquired the Amex in 1998 when its leaders thought the open-outcry auction system used at the Amex would complement the electronic trading system used by the Nasdaq.

But the Amex has lost business in recent years and some of the securities that it traded are now also traded elsewhere.

Investigation: Bank company settles criminal allegations

The nation’s seventh-largest bank holding company, PNC ICLC Corp., has agreed to pay $90 million in restitution and $25 million in penalties to avoid a criminal trial on charges of securities violations, the Justice Department said Monday.

The company, a subsidiary of PNC Financial Services Group Inc. of Pittsburgh, was charged with conspiracy to violate securities laws by transferring $762 million in troubled loans and investments to off-balance sheet organizations, the Justice Department said.

The government will defer prosecution for 12 months and dismiss the complaint if the company continues to comply in a continuing investigation.

The chief executive of the company’s parent, James E. Rohr, said in a statement Monday that the company “regrets its involvement” in the deals.

Energy: Kansas site in running for $1 billion power plant

Two Missouri electric companies and a Nebraska company are considering a $1 billion partnership to build a 600-megawatt power plant.

Springfield City Utilities, Joplin-based Empire District Electric Co. and Omaha, Neb.-based Tenaska Energy have not yet signed any agreements regarding the proposed coal plant, said Bill Braudt Jr., general manager of project development at Tenaska.

Braudt said the companies were considering four sites: two in Missouri, one in Kansas and one in Oklahoma. Braudt would not disclose specific locations under consideration.

Gasoline: Short oil supplies drive prices above $30 mark

Oil prices soared above $30 a barrel for the first time since mid-April on Monday as lean supplies of crude and gasoline at the start of the summer driving season prompted a buying spree.

The price of crude for July delivery rose $1.15, or 4 percent, to $30.71 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. That’s crude’s highest level since April 21, when it closed at $30.87.

The wholesale price of unleaded gasoline also shot up, rising 3.2 cents to 88.5 cents per gallon on Nymex.

Commercial inventories of crude are roughly 40 percent below year-ago levels, according to statistics maintained by the Energy Department, and there is roughly 13 percent less gasoline in storage compared with last year.