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ABN Takeover Fight Starts To Get Dirty

There are various press reports out Tuesday that quote from a letter said to have been sent by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) to ABN AMRO CEO Rijkman Groenink, which alleges that some of the firms mandated to advise ABN on its merger deal with Barclays had, in fact, also approached RBS and its consortium about helping to fund their rival bid for the Dutch bank! A possible conflict of interest here, no ?

Bear, Citi, Credit Suisse, Merrill, State Street, UBS

Reuters reports that Bear Stearns has acquired full control of New York Stock Exchange specialist firm Bear Wagner, after buying out the minority shareholder. The Wall Street firm will also take a $225m charge to reflect the reduced value of the business, which it originally invested in in 2001.

Coming In June - City Life

We are pleased to announce that we are launching Here Is The City Life in June - a lifestyle site that will be fun, interesting, helpful and relevant to the full range of folks who work in the financial markets.

ABN AMRO Latest - Still A Mess

The Times reports that the pressure on ABN AMRO boss Rijkman Groenink appears to be unrelenting. Not only have there been calls for his head due to the manner in which he has tried to merge his bank, but now he has bowed to shareholder pressure and decided to stand down from election at Shell as a non-executive director. Shareholders were due to vote on the matter at Shell's annual meeting Tuesday. Groenink has asked that his nomination be withdrawn as he 'wants to fully dedicate his attention to ABN AMRO, given the current corporate activities around the company'.

Missing Madeleine McCann - Can You Help ?

The disappearance of 4 year-old Madeleine McCann in Portugal on 3rd May has hit the headlines around the world. Fears for her safety, however, grow by the day. The authorities in Portugal are reluctantly scaling down their search. The prospects of a happy ending are beginning to recede.

'Rogue' Banker, Sued Banker, 'Happy' Bankers

The Sunday telegraph reports that HBOS has suspended a so-called 'rogue' banker who allegedly authorized millions in loans to corporate clients, even though he had no authority to do so. The banker is said to have managed a portfolio of clients worth almost $600m, and the bank's losses are thought to be in the 'tens of millions'.

Banking Couple Arrested On Insider Charges

Reuters reports that US prosecutors Thursday arrested a former Morgan Stanley financial analyst and her husband, a former VP over at ING Investment Management, claiming that the couple traded on non-public information and made up to $600,000 in illicit profits.