BofA, BarCap, BlackRock, DB, FSA, Lehman, Nomura

The New York Post reports that Bank of America Specialist, the third-largest market maker on the floor of The New York Stock Exchange has not been trading in the new hybrid market yet - despite 18 months work and spending $13m on technology to enable it to do so. According to the newspaper, the firm has also canned the 'technology executive' in charge of this project.

Bloomberg reports that Barclays Capital has hired five bankers into its energy investment banking unit in New York in order to muscle in on some of that sector's M&A action in the US.

BlackRock's third-quarter profits fell 69% to $18.9m, mainly due to one-off costs associated with the merger with Merrill Lynch Investment Managers. Firm CEO Larry Fink said that 'we were able to achieve so many integration milestones while sustaining new business momentum and, more importantly, building enthusiasm for the combined firm'.

The Wall Street Journal says that Deutsche Bank may face the ire of Spain's market regulator for allegedly 'giving some investors market-sensitive information before selling shares in Spanish food company Ebro Puleva SA'. The German bank, however, denies any wrongdoing.

The Daily Telegraph reports that UK market regulator The Financial Services Authority (FSA) intends to reduce its 700-page rule book by up to half, as its moves towards more 'principles-based' regulation, which will stress firms adhering to broad principles of being 'fair' and 'clear' and not 'misleading' customers/clients. The Financial Times also says that the FSA should be able to cut headcount by around 10% by 2010. Most of the 300 or so job losses are expected to be achieved by natural attrition.

Lehman Brothers and IBM announced Monday that they are launching a $180m joint-venture fund to invest in private and public business in China. The Financial Times quotes Michael Odrich, who heads up the firm's private equity group, who said that 'both of our organisations believe China is just a huge opportunity on the growth side. IBM is already a leading brand in the Chinese marketplace, and Lehman is very committed to growing our business (there)'.

Finally, Financial News reports that Nomura is to acquire brokerage firm Instinet from US buyout firm Silver Lake Parters, in a deal thought to be worth around $1.2bn. The Japanese firm said that 'with the acquisition of Instinet, Nomura will add advanced execution to its high-quality research offering, and position itself to provide hedge funds, pension funds and other institutional investors with even higher value-added trading technologies and order execution services'.

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