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TALKING POINTS

Eastern Bank Foundation to commit $2 million more to pandemic causes

PHILANTHROPY

Eastern Bank Foundation to commit $2 million more to pandemic causes

The Eastern Bank Foundation unveiled plans on Monday to commit an additional $2 million to COVID-19 causes in Greater Boston, with a focus on increasing access to vaccines involving outreach in communities of color. Officials with the foundation are particularly worried about how the COVID-19 vaccine rollout has exacerbated pre-existing disparities in these communities. The Eastern Bank foundation was already one of the local private sector’s most generous providers of COVID-19 relief in 2020, with $13 million in donations awarded. The announcement on Monday by the foundation, previously known as the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, brings its total funds committed to COVID-19 causes to $15 million. — JON CHESTO

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LIFE SCIENCES

PerkinElmer to purchase UK company

Waltham-based life sciences company PerkinElmer unveiled a $155 million deal on Monday to expand its diagnostics business by purchasing Immunodiagnostic Systems Holdings, headquartered in the United Kingdom. PerkinElmer plans to merge the 300-person IDS business, a provider of invitro diagnostics, with its Euroimmun business, which is known for autoimmune and genetic testing and was acquired by PerkinElmer in 2017. — JON CHESTO

GOVERNMENT

Child tax credit payments to begin in July

The Treasury Department said Monday that 39 million families are set to receive monthly child payments beginning on July 15. The payments are part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package, which expanded the child tax credit for one year and made it possible to pre-pay the benefits on a monthly basis. Nearly 88 percent of children are set to receive the benefits without their parents needing to take any additional action. Qualified families will receive a payment of up to $300 per month for each child under 6 and up to $250 per month for children between the ages of 6 and 17. The child tax credit was previously capped at $2,000 and only paid out to families with income tax obligations after they filed with the IRS. But for this year, couples earning $150,000 or less can receive the full payments on the 15th of each month, in most cases by direct deposit. The benefits total $3,600 annually for children under 6 and $3,000 for those who are older. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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REAL ESTATE

Think house prices are crazy here?

The pandemic is burnishing California’s reputation for costly housing. In the latest sign,the median home price in the state shot past $800,000 for the first time in April, according to data released Monday by the California Association of Realtors. The new median value of $813,980 is up 7.2 percent from March and 34 percent from a year earlier, when pandemic lockdowns mostly froze the housing market. The surge is, in many ways, a snapshot of what’s happening across the United States, where tight inventory and low mortgage rates are fueling a rally in home prices. Last week, the National Association of Realtors reported that the median sale price for a single-family home rose to a record $319,200. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

BANKING

Chase reopens all of its US offices

For JPMorgan Chase it’s another step toward post-pandemic normal, but for the US financial industry it’s a bellwether. The nation’s largest bank, which often sets norms for the financial world, reopened offices to employees across the United States on Monday. The move includes locations in Ohio, Texas, and Arizona that — unlike the bank’s New York headquarters — had been left at least partially shut in the wake of pandemic lockdowns. It’s all part of the firm’s plan to call back its entire US workforce, at least on rotations, in early July. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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BANKING

BOA joins network using blockchain to settle stock trades

Bank of America joined the network created by Paxos Trust Co. to settle stock trades in minutes rather than days by using blockchain, the latest sign of Wall Street’s growing adoption of the technology. The second-biggest US bank joins Credit Suisse and Instinet on the Paxos Settlement Service. In 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission allowed Paxos to begin a pilot program for settling equity trades. The Paxos system is one of several areas where banks are using blockchain to reshape how they interact with markets. JPMorgan Chase has been using a version of Ethereum to execute overnight repurchase agreements since late last year, with daily transactions exceeding $1 billion. Goldman Sachs is preparing to join that market as well. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

PHARMACEUTICALS

Supreme Court refuses to hear case challenging Enbrel patents

The Supreme Court turned away a petition that sought to challenge two Amgen Inc. patents on the top-selling rheumatoid arthritis drug Enbrel, ensuring Sandoz won’t be able to sell a biosimilar of the drug in the United States until 2029. The justices declined to hear arguments by Sandoz, which claims an appeals court erred in upholding the two Amgen patents that prevent it from entering the US market. Sandoz got regulatory approval in 2016 to sell a copycat version that it calls Erelzi and the patents are the only thing standing in its way. Enbrel, which is heavily promoted in ads featuring pro golfer Phil Mickelson, generated $5 billion in sales last year, 20 percent of Amgen’s revenue. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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REAL ESTATE

Mnuchin sells NYC co-op after price cut

Steven Mnuchin, treasury secretary under former president Donald Trump, just sold his Manhattan co-op apartment at a deep discount. The duplex at 740 Park Ave. found a buyer last week, according to a report Monday by brokerage Olshan Realty Inc. The five-bedroom unit, on the market since September 2018, was most recently listed at $25.75 million, a 21 percent reduction from the original asking price of $32.5 million. New York’s luxury co-ops — a symbol of old-school prestige — have been struggling to fund buyers as new high-end condo skyscrapers proliferate across Manhattan, offering more amenities, better views, and fewer rules and restrictions on daily life. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

BANKING

Wells Fargo to target the ‘unbanked’

Wells Fargo, the fourth-largest US bank, is rolling out an initiative to bring more people into the banking system. The firm said it will increase access to affordable products, expand financial-education offerings, and launch a National Unbanked Advisory Task Force. Wells Fargo also will set a 10-year goal for reducing the number of people who are unbanked, according to a statement Monday. One in four US adults is considered unbanked or underbanked in the United States, according to the nonprofit Financial Health Network, which says those consumers pay almost $200 billion a year in fees and interest on financial products. The problem intensifies the nation’s wealth gap, which disproportionately affects minority groups. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

INTERNATIONAL

No gathering in Davos this year — or anywhere else

World Economic Forum organizers say they have decided to cancel their annual gathering — usually held in Davos, Switzerland each year — this year amid concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. After multiple attempts to find a proper date and venue, most recently settling on hopes to hold it in Singapore in August, the forum’s organizers said in a statement Monday that it won’t go ahead with the meeting, largely citing the impact of the coronavirus. The forum’s next annual gathering will be in the first half of next year, with the final date and location to be determined, organizers said. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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