Bloomberg reports that currency trader Joseph Lewis, already Bear Stearn's second-largest investor, has increased his stake in the firm to 8%, taking his total investment to around $1bn. With Bear shares down 40% this year, Lewis clearly feels that the stock is trading near the bottom.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Citi's board of directors is to meet Monday and Tuesday and is now expected to confirm Vikram Pandit into the company's now-vacant CEO role. Former Citi President Wiliam Willumstad, who is known to have met with the firm's search committee last week, is, however, also thought to still be in the running.
Reuters reports that Credit Suisse it said to be looking at forming a securities joint venture with China's Founder Group. The two firms are thought to be exploring possibilities about co-operation in the provision private and institutional brokerage services. And the news agency also says that Morgan Stanley is planning to form an investment banking joint venure with China Fortune Securities. Reuters also reported Friday that Nelson Chai, Merrill Lynch's new CFO, will receive a cash bonus of $2.5m for fiscal 2007, half in cash and half in stock. His base salary will be $600,000.
Barron's reports that JPMorgan Chase is likely to see accelerated growth in 2008, as the bank is one of the few Universal banks that has come through the recent market turmoil relatively unscathed.
And Reuters reports that WestLB's board is to meet again new week, after failing at a meeting over the weekend to decide the bank's fate. On the agenda was whether the German bank will plough on as a stand-alone entity, or merge with a rival like LBBW.
Finally, Bloomberg reports that BlackRock has been named as the manager for the so-called 'SuperSIV', which has been established by Bank of America, Citi and JPMorgan Chase to shore up the short-term debt markets by preventing the firesale of assets. The Financial Times reports, however, that there has been a bit of a backlash from some SIVs who have suggested that the 8% 'haircut' on assets sales to be charged by the 'Super' will make the whole deal unworkable.