ABN Amro, Bear, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank

The New York Post reports that Dutch firm ABN Amro is to take 140,000 square feet over three floors at 7 World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan.

Bloomberg reports that Bear Stearns CEO Jim Cayne got a 21% boost in his 2006 stock bonus. He was awarded restricted stock units valued at around $14.8m. His total comp for 2006 is likely to be in the region of $34m. Firm co-presidents Alan Schwartz and Warren Spector received options valued at around $7m for their efforts during the year.

And the news agency also says that Citigroup is fearful of losing business in the wake of the problems over at Nikko Cordial in Japan. Citigroup owns 49% of the investment bank and is concerned following the recent resignation of two Nikko executives over charges of falsifying earnings statements.

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Federal Reserve has now lifted a three-year enforcement action 'stemming from (Citigroup's) role in the financing of Enron'. The action required the firm to tighten controls and risk-management procedures. A spokesperson for Citigroup said that 'we are pleased the Federal Reserve has acknowledged Citigroup's strengthened controls, compliance and culture, and this matter is now behind us'.

The Journal also reports that Vadim Benyatov, the Credit Suisse investment banker arrested earlier this month in Romania on charges of espionage and selling state secrets, is likely to remain in jail until at least 18th January, after he lost an appeal for his release.

The newspaper also says that Credit Suisse's announcement that Leonhard Fischer will become its new head of Europe, Middle East & Africa on March 1st, looks to be a signal that he is in prime place to become Group CEO when current boss, 63 year-old Oswald Gruebel, decides to hang up his boots.

Bloomberg reports that Deutsche bank has agreed to pay $208m to settle a probe by New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer into improper mutual-fund trading. A spokesperson for Spitzer's office said that 'the investigation by the state and federal regulators revealed that Deutsche Bank entered into a series of arrangements with preferred investors that permitted them to engage in improper, frequent short-term trading'.

Finally, The Financial Times reports that it is claimed that Deutsche is holding billions in accounts formerly controlled by Saparmurat Niyazov, the autocratic President of Turkmenistan, who died earlier this month.

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