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The Fight For ABN AMRO Is About To Kick Off

The decision of the Dutch Supreme Court Friday to allow ABN AMRO to flog its US retail unit LaSalle for $21bn to Bank of America without a shareholder vote comes as no surprise. But the decision will serve to end the phoney war between Barclays and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) consortium fighting for the ABN goodies.

Bear, Blackstone, Gartmore, Goldman, NatWest 3, Refco

Reuters reports that Bear Stearns is to open a London Metal Exchange trading desk in New York. The news agency quotes Bear Head of Liquid Products Sales Europe, Peter Williams, who said that the firm had 'seen increasing demand from clients for a global platform, in particular from hedge funds'.

Ex-Goldman Staff On Death Threat Suspect List

Bloomberg reports that US investigators are working with Goldman Sachs to determine whether it is possible any disgruntled former employees were responsible for the death threat letters recently sent out to 31 media outlets which warned that hundreds of Goldman staff would die.

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ABN, Bear, Citi, Dres, GS, Jeff, JPM, LEH, MS, RBS, UBS

The New York Times reports that NYSE Euronext has launched an investigation into market activity in ABN AMRO's shares ahead of the announcement of the proposed merger with Barclays in March. According to The Wall Street Journal, trading in ADRs showed 'spikes' in the period leading up to the merger announcement.

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FX Rates Said To Face Global Regulation

Global regulators may start overseeing currency rates in a widening response to benchmark-rate setting scandals that began with revelations on the manipulation of Libor, according to two people familiar with the matter.