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Warburg axes New York staff

SG Warburg has sacked 36 of its 500-strong New York workforce in a continuing cost-cutting programme following the aborted merger talks with Morgan Stanley. A Warburg spokesman stressed that the bank remains "the number one distributor of international equities in the US", but the move is bound to raise questions over its American strategy.

The sackings included the block-trading desk and four analysts. "There is a lot of competition in US domestic equities," the spokesman added: "Our policy is to concentrate on what we're good at."

Warburg has four seats on the New York Stock Exchange, giving access to the trading floor, and the bank is keeping them. Warburg sacked 180 people in London recently when it closed its Eurobond business, and analysts expect further retrenchment.