Commuters crowd a bus on London Bridge in London on Jan. 9, 2017, during a 24-hour tube strike. A strike on the London Underground caused major disruption as almost all stations in the city center shut and services were canceled in a dispute over jobs and ticket office closures. (Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. cuts fees for mortgage insurance

The Obama administration is cutting mortgage-insurance premiums charged under a government program popular with first-time home buyers with little money for a down payment, a move that may ease the burden of rising interest rates.

The annual fees the Federal Housing Administration charges to guarantee mortgages it backs are being cut by a quarter of a percentage point, the Department of Housing and Urban Development said Monday. With the reduction, the annual cost for most borrowers will be 0.60 percent of the loan balance.

The change will force Donald Trump’s incoming administration to weigh Republican objections over lower fees against the benefits to home buyers. Republicans have argued that reductions put taxpayers at risk by lowering the funds the FHA has to deal with mortgage defaults.

HUD said Monday the fee cut will save new FHA-insured homeowners an average of $500 this year. It will take effect Jan. 27.

— Bloomberg News

Yahoo CEO to leave board in Verizon sale

Yahoo chief executive Marissa Mayer is among six directors who plan to leave the board of the investment company that will be left after the closing of the proposed sale of Yahoo’s main Internet properties to Verizon Communications.

The new company, a shareholder in Alibaba Group Holding and Yahoo Japan, will change its name to Altaba and reduce its board to five members as it looks ahead to its next chapter with fewer ties to the iconic brand, according to a filing Monday.

Yahoo agreed to sell its Web properties to Verizon in a deal valued at about $4.8 billion, though questions have come up after Yahoo revealed two separate hacks of user data. The deal came after Mayer failed to deliver on a turnaround attempt that began after her arrival in 2012.

The directors who will remain with Altaba after the closing of the Verizon sale are Tor Braham, Eric Brandt, Catherine Friedman, Thomas McInerney and Jeffrey Smith. Brandt was named chairman Monday.

Others, including David Filo, co-founder of Yahoo, and Maynard Webb, who had been chairman, intend to leave after the planned sale of the Web services to Verizon.

— Bloomberg News

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