ABN, BNP, Bear, Lazard, Rothschild, State Street

ABN Amro looks likely to be the first overseas bank to be able to trade on China's futures market. The Dutch bank is said to be in the final stages of completing a strategic partnership with Chinese Galaxy Securities.

French bank BNP Paribas is said to have merged its high-yield and high-grade research teams as it restructures its European credit strategy group. The bank has brought aboard a number of key hires from rivals to beef up the group.

Bear Stearns is the latest bank to suffer a bit of e-mail trouble. The New York Post reports that the firm is checking through e-mails sent by 109 employees as it strives to ascertain whether executives in its brokerage group sanctioned improper mutual funds trading.

Lazard will have to wait a few days longer to register its intention to publicly list with US regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Wall Street Journal reports that the firm has become somewhat 'bogged down in tax and structuring issues'.

And talking of Lazard, Rothschilds has nabbed 76 year-old former Lazard investment banking legend Felix Rohatyn to become an independent director. Rohatyn is a man of some pedigree - he was US Ambassador to France between 1997 to 2000.

Finally, State Street posted a 12% Q3 earnings decline. Although revenues increased over the same period 12 months ago, expenses increased at a faster rate. The result was a third-quarter profit fall to $177m.

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