Talking Points

Five items you may have missed in business on Sunday

Mergers

Pfizer nearing deal to acquire Medivation for about $14b

Pfizer Inc. is close to an agreement to buy Medivation Inc. for about $14 billion, people familiar with the situation said Sunday, the latest in a long run of blockbuster deals in the drug and biotechnology industries. The deal may be announced as early as Monday, said the sources, who asked not to be identified because the matter is still private. The biotech company’s shares closed at $67.16 Friday, giving it a market value of $11.1 billion. By acquiring Medivation, Pfizer would gain a blockbuster prostate cancer treatment, Xtandi, that’s already approved for sale in the United States and elsewhere, and that analysts project will generate $1.33 billion in annual sales by 2020. Pfizer chief executive Ian Read said in May that he was more interested in acquiring late-stage assets because the company already had plenty of early-stage drugs in the works. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

Energy

Oil declines after Iraq agrees to boost exports amid global glut

Oil declined after Iraq, OPEC’s second-biggest producer, announced Sunday that it would boost oil exports in the next few days amid a glut of supply. Futures slid as much as 0.9 percent in New York after climbing 9.1 percent last week on speculation that OPEC talks next month could lead to an output freeze. Iraq will increase crude exports by about 5 percent, about 150,000 barrels a day, in the next few days after an agreement to resume shipments from three oil fields in Kirkuk. US oil drillers added 10 rigs last week, extending the biggest and longest increases since April 2014, Baker Hughes Inc. data show. Oil has climbed more than 20 percent since it dipped below $40 a barrel earlier in the month, meeting the common definition of a bull market. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that the nation was open to discussing a freeze after his Saudi counterpart Khalid Al-Falih said that informal talks in September may lead to action to stabilize the market. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

Regulations

States reward whistle-blowers to crack down on securities fraud

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In the aftermath of the financial crisis, a growing army of confidential informants — better known as whistle-blowers — has helped federal securities regulators identify and prosecute wrongdoers. Now the same thing is happening at the state level: Securities regulators in Indiana and Utah are enlisting the aid of these informants to enforce their own fraud statutes and protect residents from financial harm. And the whistle-blowers are reaping rewards. On Aug. 19, for example, an informant was awarded $95,000 for helping Indiana securities regulators bring an enforcement action against JPMorgan Chase for failing to disclose certain conflicts of interest to clients about the way the bank invested their money. The monetary award was the first given under that state’s whistle-blower program aimed at securities law violators. The informant supplied information about improprieties in JPMorgan Chase’s asset management unit, including its practice of steering clients to in-house funds that carried higher costs or generated greater fees to the bank. — NEW YORK TIMES

Economy

Fed official signals 2016 rate hike is still possible

WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve vice chairman Stanley Fischer (right) signaled that a 2016 rate hike is still under consideration, saying the US economy is already close to meeting the central bank’s goals and that growth will gain steam. ‘‘We are close to our targets,’’ Fischer said Sunday in a speech at the Aspen Institute in Aspen, Colo. ‘‘Looking ahead, I expect GDP growth to pick up in coming quarters, as investment recovers from a surprisingly weak patch and the drag from past dollar appreciation diminishes,’’ he added, without giving explicit views on his rate outlook. Fischer’s remarks come less than a week before Fed chairwoman Janet Yellen speaks Friday at an annual symposium hosted by the Kansas City Fed in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Investors are looking for clues from central bankers on the timing of potential interest rate increases amid modest economic growth, strong job gains, and only moderate increases in inflation. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

Agriculture

Nonprofit gets US grant to help beginning farmers

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PROVIDENCE — A nonprofit in Providence has been awarded nearly $600,000 in federal funding to help expand training opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers throughout Rhode Island. The state’s congressional delegation announced the grant from the Department of Agriculture to Southside Community Land Trust. The Agriculture Department has a beginning farmer and rancher development program. Nationwide, it’s awarding $17.8 million for 37 projects to help educate the next generation of farmers. Southside Community Land Trust will use the money over three years to expand the reach of its training. The program provides training and technical assistance, space at farm incubator sites, and apprenticeships on farms, and also helps farmers secure their own farmland. The land trust says more than 425 beginning or aspiring farmers and ranchers are expected to benefit. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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