Top Firm Said To Be Hiring Up To 250 Front Office Staff

Les Echos newspaper reports that, according to Frederic Janbon, BNP Paribas's Global Head of Fixed Income, his unit plans to increase headcount in front office by up to 250 before the year is out.

In the meantime, Dow Jones Newswires reports that Michel Peretie, head of Societe Generale's Corporate & Investment Banking unit, has confirmed that, contrary to rumours about derivatives losses, there will be no surprises when the firm announces its second-quarter earnings. Peretie told a small group of reporters earlier this week: 'So far, we have been very cautious in managing our risk'.

And Reuters reports that just a year after buying their freedom from Lehman Brothers, executives at fund manager Neuberger Berman are moving towards doing an IPO. Employees own a 52% stake in the company.

The Financial Times reports that Jefferies & Co and Morgan Stanley are among the final bidders for the RBS Sempra Commodities' North America business unit, which might fetch as much as $2bn.

And The Daily Telegraph reports that former Royal Bank of Scotland CEO Sir Fred Goodwin has just moved into a $5.1m property in the Grange area of Edinburgh. No surprises that the property is hidden from view, and comes complete with an electric security gate and security cameras.

The BBC reports that the UK's Office of Fair Trading is to launch a probe into the way investment banks price underwriting and M&A deals, and hopes to 'identify any areas for improvement'.

Finally, Reuters reports that UK securities regulator The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has said that there were 'abnormal pre-announcement price movements' in some 30.6% of takeover deals in 2009, the highest level since 2004. The FSA has made insider trading one of its top priorities.

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