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Salomon Smith Barney appointed James DeMare and Jamie Viceconte to head the company's ABS trading desk. DeMare, along with his current responsibilities, will handle the firm's mortgage-related ABS business while Viceconte will oversee Salomon's non-mortgage, traditional trading.

DeMare and Viceconte will report to Jeffrey Perlowitz and Mark Tsesarsky who are co-heads of mortgage trading at Salomon.

Miscellaneous

Financial Security Assurance Holdings Ltd. (FSA Holdings), holding company for bond insurer Financial Security Assurance Inc. (FSA), confirmed that the company has been in discussions with a third party regarding the possible sale of the firm.

Metris Cos. Inc. recently announced that it is set to fill approximately 500 openings in the company's new Scottsdale operations center. Though Metris currently only has 120 people in its Scottsdale, Ariz., office, it expects by year-end to have more than 600 employees dealing with collections, customer service, information technology and management assigned to this location.

Though North Folk Bancorporation, Inc. has commenced a hostile takeover bid to acquire Dime Bancorp Inc., Dime remains committed to its proposed merger with Hudson United.

North Fork is offering Dime shareholders 0.9302 shares of North Fork common stock and $2 dollars in cash per Dime share. Meanwhile, under the proposed Hudson United merger, Dime shareholders would get 0.60255 shares of a combined Dime/Hudson per Dime share. This will value Dime at $11.64 per share.

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