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ABN AMRO, CIBC, Citigroup, Deutsche, Goldman

The Wall Street Journal reports that ABN Amro's fourth-quarter profits came in up 4.9% at $1.77bn. In what sounds a little like a chairman's vote of confidence in a soccer manager, ABN boss Rijkman Groenick said that 'we are confident that 2007 will be a year of delivery'.

JPMorgan, Lazard, Merrill Lynch, RBS, Hedge Funds

The Herald reports that JPMorgan has been making efforts to attract more women onto the payrolls at its European technology centre in Glasgow, Scotland. The percentage of women has increased from 18% to 21% of the workforce since the firm launched its drive to recruit more ladies some 12 months ago.

Latest Bank Merger Rumour

Reuters reports that shares in Fortis rose in early trading Tuesday on speculation that the Belgian-Dutch financial services group is to merge with ABN AMRO.

Bonuses - You Are The Weakest Link (Goodbye)

Well, almost. Financial News reports that UK broker Bridgewell is to pay bonuses next month. 20% of the firm's 135 staff are expected to get a doughnut (sweet zero). Bridgewell, which says that its 'new executive team is focused on building high performance', now grades its staff into 5 brackets. A bottom ranking is thought likely to result in a zero bonus. 'Doughnut' recipients are not expected to hang around long.

Fidelity, FSA, Goldman, Nikko, State Street, Pipe Bombs

The Financial Times reports that US securities regulators have fined Fidelity Investments a total of $3.7m for 'supervisory and e-mail retention failures uncovered during a crackdown on improper...gift-giving'. The firm was found to have brorken its own ethics and entertainment policies as staff were plied with lavish gifts allegedly in exchange for passing on business.

Hedge Funds - More Trouble Ahead ?

Bloomberg reports that Red Kite Metals, part of the $1bn hedge fund group run by London-based RK Capital Management, lost around 30% of its value in January as metal prices fell away. The fund expects prices to rebound later this month in response to increased industrial and housing demand in China. Having said this, concern is growing that hedge funds which specialize in commodities may be playing with fire.

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