Market Chatter-Corporate finance press digest

Wed Jan 30, 2013 10:02am IST

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Jan 30 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media on Wednesday:

* Monte dei Paschi's risk control unit and its internal audit committee had expressed serious misgivings about the bank's finance department, now at the centre of a scandal about shady structured finance trades, as far back as November 2009, according to internal documents.

* There is a new twist in the London Whale trading scandal that cost JPMorgan Chase $6.2 billion in trading losses last year. Some of the firm's own traders bet against the very derivatives positions placed by its chief investment office, said three people familiar with the matter.

* Royal Bank of Scotland is winding down its mergers and acquisitions business after failing to secure a buyer for the division, the Financial Times reported. The largely taxpayer-owned bank made most of its 40 or so M&A bankers redundant at the end of last year, two people close to the situation told the paper.

* Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc is considering making an offer for Life Technologies Corp, the biomedical laboratory equipment maker that is exploring a potential sale, three people familiar with the matter said.

* Deutsche Bank's global head of oil and agriculture trading, John Redpath, has left the firm, a source familiar with the matter said.

* Spain's Repsol is negotiating the sale of a block of liquefied natural gas assets with more than one international bidder and expects to finalise a deal in the coming weeks, a source with knowledge of the matter said.

* DuPont is exploring the sale of its cyanide business and has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to run the sale process, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

* German real estate group LEG Immobilien has narrowed the indicative price range for its planned listing on the Frankfurt stock exchange, three people close to the process told Reuters.

* Gregory Peters, Morgan Stanley's chief global asset strategist, is leaving after 12 years with the investment bank and wealth manager to pursue opportunities on the buyside, people familiar with the matter said.

* Private equity fund MBK Partners has expressed interest in acquiring ING Groep NV's South Korean insurance unit, the Korea Economic Daily reported Wednesday.

* The sale of German insulation firm Armacell by its Bahrain-based private equity owner Investcorp has attracted six bidders as interest grows in companies making energy-efficient products, two people familiar with the transaction said.

* Private equity firms Apollo Global Management LLC and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co are near a deal to buy snack cake brands including Twinkies from bankrupt Hostess Brands , according to a source familiar with the matter.

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