Equities, M&A, Hedge Funds, Private Equity

The Times reports that Brazil, China, India and Russia were the four best performers among the major stock markets over the last year.

The newspaper quotes from Thomson Financial data, which reveals that China was the best-performing stock market (gaining 101.7%), followed by Russia (65.8%), Brazil (40.9%) and India (36.6%). Of the smaller markets, Peru did best, gaining 182%, followed by Cyprus (157%). 

Reuters reports that European investment bankers remain bullish about their prospects in 2007. The news agency quotes Tom King, head of European investment banking over at Citigroup, who said that 'barring an exogenous shock to the capital markets, it's hard to see much of a break or any kind of a hard transition from 2006 to 2007'.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Citigroup has lost its bid to be credited for arranging a $30bn deal, the inclusion of which in it's 2006 tally might have resulted in the firm topping Thomson Financial's global M&A league table. After days of debating, Thomson decided to exclude Citigroup as an adviser for Norsk Hydo ASA's planned $30bn sale of energy assets to Statoil, effectively ruling that the writing of a fairness opinion did not an adviser make.

The Daily Telegraph reports that UK regulator The Financial Services Authority is investigating the leaking of price sensitive information ahead of four recent London takeovers.

The Financial Times reports that, according to research firm Dealogic, the value of worldwide M&A deals in 2006 was 16% higher than at the height of the dot.com boom in 2000. Deal values totalled $3,900bn.

Financial News reports that, according to rankings compiled by mergermarket, 36-year-old Lazard banker Mattieu Pigasse was Europe's most prolific dealmaker in 2006, working on $92bn worth of deals.

Bloomberg reports that Philippe Jabre, a co-founder of London-based hedge fund GLG Partners, is now in the market raising funds for his new firm, Jabre Capital Partners. Jabre is hoping to raise $4.5bn for three funds, which will start trading in February.

And Nomura has spent $888m acquiring a 15% interest in US hedge fund and private equity firm Fortess Investment Group. The link with Nomura will open up the Asian markets for Fortess.

Finally, The Financial Times reports that, according to Thomson Financial data, Texas Pacific Group was the world's most prolific buyout group in 2006, 'notching up' 17 deals with a combined value of over $101bn. Next came Blackstone ($93bn), Bain Capital ($85bn) and KKR ($78bn).

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