A more permissive regulatory environment culminated on Thursday in the biggest bank merger since the 2007-2009 financial crisis, and more deals are likely, analysts and investors say. BB&T says it will buy rival SunTrust Banks for about $28bn in stock. The combined company will operate under a new name and have about $442bn in assets, $301bn in loans and $324bn in deposits. It will rival US Bancorp, which has about $467bn in assets. Sony perks up Sony announced its first-ever share buyback on Friday, worth ¥100bn, helping its stock recover from the hammering it received earlier in the week when the technology firm reported lacklustre earnings. The announcement marked Japan’s second major buyback this week after technology investor SoftBank Group said it would repurchase ¥600bn of stock on Wednesday, boosting its share price. Both stocks had been under pressure prior to the announcements, reflecting investor unease over the outlook for the global technology industry amid falling dema...

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