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The move of Peter Large from managing director of corporate finance at Swiss Bank Corporation to Hambros Bank will no doubt raise more than an eyebrow or two.

It is well known that SBC's senior positions are all under review at the moment, although it seems that Mr Large made his decision to move several months ago and was only held up by the merger of SBC and Warburg - he worked on the due diligence as well as serving on the integration committee.

Russell Hart, an SBC director of corporate finance responsible for the beverage industry, has jumped ship with him.

Mr Large is well known as a rainmaker and it is hardly surpassing that Hambros is cock-a-hoop at its dynamic duo coup.

Quite when Mr Large will take up his position at Hambros is undecided. August looks likely to be the earliest, but SBC wants him to wait until he has passed on his client relationships and tied up loose ends.

At Hambros Mr Large will take over the role of marketing director responsible for co-ordinating the new business development of the corporate finance division as well as developing business in the food and beverage sector, where he and Mr Hart - who becomes an assistant director - enjoyed a great deal of success at SBC.

A landmark in post-communist market reforms took place last Friday when Romania opened its first stock exchange for almost half a century.

However, one thing was missing amid the computer screens and grandeur of the central bank chamber housing the Bursa de Valori Bucuresti: stocks to trade.

But brokers and leaders of the new exchange insist that within a couple of months they will have a handful of banks, brewers and other companies listed.

"We will probably be trading by the end of August," said Virgil Anastasiu, vice-president of the Bucharest exchange.

Moritz Shapiro, 75, was a young trader at the old Bucharest stock exchange until it was shut down under communism.

"Fifty eight years ago, I was a broker in the bourse. It is very emotional for me to be back," he said. "I am thrilled that markets are back. I can be used as a consultant, but at the age of 75, I no longer have the strength to trade."

Disasters of one kind or another are common enough in the City at present, but those of the biblical kind have been rather less frequent- until lunchtime yesterday, when City folk found themselves besieged by a plague of gnats.

The tiny black bugs coated all and sundry as City folk tried to soak up the sunshine. Drinkers outside the local watering holes were prime targets, bringing the phrase "gnat's piss" to many lips.

Those who scoff at the deeper significance of such events should remember that the hurricane that paralysed the country in October 1987 was quicly followed by Black Monday.

While a plague of gnats might not compare with a hurricane, the market did fall by 50 points yesterday.

At a sponsored business breakfast held at Claridges this week, 250 or more of the great and the good who gathered for smoked salmon and scrambled eggs were greeted not with coffee but with a travel pack from the breakfast's sponsor, Travelex. The pack consisted of 20 Air Miles, a phone card and a $3 coin pack. However, even if everyone had clubbed their free Air Miles together, there would still not have been enough to get to New York in business class. Those who do eventually make it, and discover that $3 does not go a long way in the Big Apple, can always use the phone card to call home for more funds.