More Madoff & Other News

Associated Press reports that the brother of Thierry de la Villehuchet, the financier who is thought to have killed himself earlier this week due to the fact that he had monies invested with Bernie Madoff, has said that his sibling indeed had 'several tens of millions' with the alleged fraudster.

Bloomberg reports that Madoff's investors may get a better idea of what (if anything) is left, as he is now required to 'provide a detailed list of investments, loans, lines of credit, business interests, brokerages accounts and other holdings' to US regulator the Securities & Exchange Commission by New Year's Eve.

Swiss newspaper Sonntag has reported that Credit Suisse has calculated that its clients may have lost close to a $1bn in the alleged Madoff scam. The firm does not, however, itself appear to have any exposure. And The Financial Times reports that Credit Suisse will bag a 25% stake in Aberdeen Asset Management after the Swiss bank agreed to sell the fund manager its UK funds business in a $288m all-share deal.

The Financial Times reports that Blackstone is to 'shrink' its hedge fund business and is liquidating its $1.2bn distressed debt fund.

Reuters reports that, according to Les Echoes newspaper, Franco-Belgian financial services group Dexia could be broken up, with the French part of the business being merged with French state-controlled Banque Postale.

The news agency also reports that Morgan Stanley's quest to form a joint venture with China Fortune Securities remains stalemated after a year. The Wall Street firm is insisting that Chinese regulators grant a securities license to the new entity before the firm sells its existing stake in China International Capital (CIC). The regulator wants Morgan Stanley to first ditch its stake in CIC before issuing a license for the new venture. The Wall Street Journal reports, however, that Credit Suisse has managed to obtain its securities license from China's market regulator for its brokerage joint venture with Fortune Securities.

Bloomberg reports that Belgium's KBC Group has confirmed that it expects to post a fourth-quarter loss of up to $1.28bn after writedowns on structured investments.

The Financial Times reports that troubled asset management firm New Star has attracted interest from over 10 bidders, including Lloyds TSB, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and National Australia Bank. UBS has been appointed to advise on the sale.

Finally, The Daily Telegraph reports that RBS has been put on watch by Moody's for a possible credit rating downgrade. According to the newspaper, the rating agency is to review the bank's 'B Bank Financial Strength Rating', and also its Aa1 senior long-term debt. The Sunday Telegraph also reports that Standard Chartered chairman Mervyn Davies is the surprise front-runner to take on the same role at RBS, in succession to Sir Tom McKillop, who is retiring.

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