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  • NEW YORK, Dec 23- In December 2013, Hanmag Securities Corp, a small South Korean brokerage firm, lost 46 billion won in a day after a stock option trading algorithm went bad. It was a fatal blow for a company that had just 15 billion won of capital- Hanmag went bust. During the financial crisis, regulators were reluctant to let wobbly traders such as Bear Stearns go bust,...

  • *China reforms, Australia state sales to drive 2015 growth. Non-state companies from China, including Fosun International and Haitong Securities, have sealed a series of outbound deals this year, a marked change from past years when state-owned enterprises dominated China's mergers and acquisitions. "What we are seeing is companies that haven't been on the...

  • BEIJING, Dec 23- New players in China's shadow banking sector are growing rapidly despite attempts to clamp down on opaque lending, taking advantage of a regulatory anomaly to prosper but also raising the risks of a build-up of debt in the slowing economy. Authorities have sought to rein in the riskiest elements of less-regulated lending after a series of...

  • Dec 22- A Michigan board on Monday agreed to send nearly $195 million in state funds to Detroit's two retirement systems on Feb. 9 as part of a pivotal deal that helped to end the city's historic bankruptcy, a state spokesman said. The state funds are part of the so-called grand bargain, which includes $366 million from philanthropic foundations and $100 million...

  • HONG KONG, Dec 22- A month after China opened up its equity markets in a landmark trading link with Hong Kong, demand has been subdued and the bulk of activity has come from short-term speculative investors. The authorities had hoped mutual and pension funds and private banks would form the bedrock of the Shanghai- Hong Kong stock connect. "We are not participating...

  • Dec 19- The biggest investor in Meredith Whitney's hedge fund has demanded his money back and two executives have left in the past month, Bloomberg reported, citing a person with knowledge of the firm. Chief Financial Officer Andrew Turchin has also exited, Bloomberg said, quoting the source. Whitney's fund started trading in November 2013 with about $50 million...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 17- AdvisorHUB, a year-old gossip and news website for the brokerage industry, has become such a part of brokers' daily reading routine that some call it the " New York Post of financial news." It has posts that range from subjects like what the biggest brokerages are offering new hires to a rumor from readers alleging that Bank of America Corp's Merrill...

  • PARIS/ LONDON, Dec 19- Bargain hunters may have to think twice before scooping up shares of beaten-down oil services companies, as a slump in crude prices raises questions about their ability to pay back debt. "People are just starting to dump these bonds given the trajectory of oil prices," Saxo Bank Chief Investment Officer Steen Jakobsen said.

  • SHANGHAI, Dec 19- China on Friday set up its first insurance fund for its $2.1 trillion trust industry in a move to reduce financial risk in shadow banking, the country's banking regulator said. The fund, jointly established by China Trustee Association and 13 trust firms, will be chaired by Xu Zhichao, an ex-deputy president of the state-owned Cinda Asset...

  • WASHINGTON— U.S. regulators have labeled insurer MetLife as a potential threat to the financial system, a designation that brings stricter government oversight. MetLife said Thursday that the Financial Stability Oversight Council has designated the company as "systemically important." As a result, MetLife must increase its cushion of capital against...

  • Investors say 'bye,' but not 'ciao,' to stock pickers Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 3:52 PM ET

    NEW YORK— Stock pickers might as well wear a scarlet "A." "Active management" is becoming more of a taboo when it comes to mutual funds. Bill Miller, for example, became famous for guiding his fund at Legg Mason to better returns than the Standard& Poor's 500 index for 15 straight years.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- Goldman Sachs Group Inc has promoted John Waldron to co-head of its investment banking business, replacing John S. Weinberg, a vice chairman whose family has been in the senior echelons of the investment bank since the 1920 s. Waldron, 45, will lead the investment banking business alongside existing co-heads Richard Gnodde and David Solomon.

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- John S. Weinberg, whose family has been in the senior echelons of Goldman Sachs since the 1920 s, is moving from his position overseeing the investment banking division to a firmwide client development role, the bank said on Thursday. John E. Waldron has been promoted to replace Weinberg as a third co-head of investment banking, along with Richard...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- Pacific Investment Management Co expects global growth to accelerate in 2015 to around 2.75 percent from around plus 2.5 percent this year, on expectations that supply-driven declines in oil prices were fundamentally positive, the bond giant said on Thursday in its year-end Cyclical Forum outlook report. Pimco said its view that the outlook...

  • NEW YORK, Dec 18- Pacific Investment Management Co expects global growth to accelerate in 2015 to around 2.75 percent from around plus 2.5 percent this year, on expectations that supply-driven declines in oil prices were fundamentally positive, the bond giant said on Thursday in its year-end Cyclical Forum outlook report. Pimco said its view that the outlook...

  • MIDEAST STOCKS-Gulf markets surge on stronger oil Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 | 8:25 AM ET

    *Saudi Arabia's finance minister says state to keep spending. *UAE companies buy back cheap shares. DUBAI, Dec 18- Stock markets in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates soared on Thursday after the price of oil rebounded and the Riyadh government eased investors' fears by saying it would continue spending heavily on economic development.

  • BOSTON, Dec 17- A top Herbalife salesman said that most people who sell the company's weight loss and nutrition products are doomed to fail, adding fresh grist to accusations by a hedge fund manager that the company is a fraud. Gratziani is a member of Herbalife's elite Chairman's Club sales team. The video of that training session was released publicly on...

  • SAO PAULO, Dec 17- Grupo BTG Pactual SA's Chilean unit obtained a permanent banking license to operate in the country on Wednesday, allowing Latin America's largest independent investment bank to start operations in Chile by the end of January. In a statement, BTG Pactual said the unit, known as Banco BTG Pactual Chile, wanted a full banking license in Chile to "grow...

  • Dec 16- When the almost 11,000 financial advisers in Wells Fargo& Co's branch brokerage system get their 2015 compensation plan on Wednesday they may grimace at one change that could hit their pay, or cost their customers a little more. Morgan Stanley, the largest U.S. brokerage firm with more than 16,000 advisers, for example, does not credit brokers for purchases...

  • Dec 16- When the almost 11,000 financial advisers in Wells Fargo& Co's branch brokerage system get their 2015 compensation plan on Wednesday they may grimace at one change that could hit their pay, or cost their customers a little more. Morgan Stanley, the largest U.S. brokerage firm with more than 16,000 advisers, for example, does not credit brokers for purchases...