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SEC investigating bond market firms

At least two-dozen investigations of wrongdoing in the municipal bond market are under way and charges could be brought in some of the cases by early next year, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday.

The SEC has found "some correlation" between the local political contributions made by firms and the amount of business they were seeking from the local governments, said Gary N. Sundick, the agency's associate director of enforcement.

He described a wide-ranging investigation examining whether sizable political contributions played a role in how Wall Street firms win contracts for municipal bond underwriting and other financial advisory services.

Tampa Bay/State

FF BANCORP IS SOLD. FF Bancorp Inc. said it agreed to be acquired by First National Bancorp of Gainesville, Ga., for $76.6-million in common stock, based on the current price of First National Bancorp shares, according to Bloomberg Business News. FF Bancorp is the parent company of Key Bank of Tampa, First Federal Savings Bank of Citrus County and First Federal Savings of New Smyrna.

Correction

Geonex Corp. still owes $15-million to Morgens, Waterfall, Vintiadis & Co. following a restructuring agreement. The remainder of the company's $26.1-million in debt is owed to others. A story Thursday misstated the portion owed to Morgens, Waterfall.

DOW DOLLAR YIELD

30 INDUSTRIALS VS. JAPANESE YEN 30-YEAR U.S. BOND

3975.15 96.98 8.05

+26.92 +0.13 -0.01

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