Commerzbank, Bob Diamond, Enron, Refco, Schroders

Commerzbank plans to acquire Eurohypo, Europe's biggest mortgage bank. Commerzbank will pay Dresdner and Deutsche around $5.3bn in cash for the parts of the business it does not already own.

Bob Diamond's empire is set to get bigger again. Barclays Bank is said to have been planning a major restructuring for several weeks, which will result in several of the institution's largest corporate customers moving off to Barclays Capital. Around £300m in revenue is thought likely to be shifted to BarCap. The corporates who are likely to move are thought to be those with global ambitions, and who work in the financial and property sectors.

David Bermingham, Gary Mulgrew and Giles Darby, the three former NatWest Bankers who are wanted by US authorities in connections with alleged Enron-related crimes, are to apply for a High Court judicial review as part of their fight against extradition.

Private equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners has sued former Refco boss Phillip Bennett for $245m in damages, as it tries to recover some of the monies it has lost following the collapse of the business. The firm invested $507m in Refco in June , 2004, and, despite hiring a raft of accountants and investment banks to undertake due diligence (and the services of private detectives to investigate management), lost out when the firm went belly up after alleged fraud. Refco named turnaround specialist Robert Dangremond Tuesday, to oversee the dismantling of what's left of its businesses.

UK fund manager Schroders posted third-quarter profits of £86.5m Tuesday. In the first nine months of the year, profits have risen by some 18% to £187.1m.

The New York Stock Exchange has settled its legal spat with dissident seat holders, who hoped to block the proposed merger with electronic-trading exchange Archipelago Holdings, because they thought the terms weren't good enough. It has now been agreed that an independent investment firm will be asked to evaluate the terms of the proposed deal, and will issue its report and analysis ahead of the formal seat holder vote to ratify the merger.

Finally, according to Thomson Financial, the value of the 160 companies joining London's main and junior markets so far this year totals $16.7bn. During the heady days of 2000 (full year), the figure was $18.7bn.

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