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Market Monitor

The Forrest Gump phenomenon, Hanson provokes bondholders, Borrowers' market, Return of the Asian issuers.

Banking is a nasty, brutish business, in which kindness is a scarce commodity. There is a time, however, which comes but once a year, when a spirit of giving pervades the air. That time is bonus time. As bankers begin to salivate, Euromoney attempts to spot who the big winners will be.

One thing is certain: the absolute amount of the payouts is enormous. Indeed, the payment of bonuses in the Square Mile is enough to skew the UK's national wage average for March by a third of a percentage point, according to Derek Bird at the UK's Central Statistical Office.

So which bank employees will have the most to celebrate? Sterling and Ecu bond dealers at BZW are set for a windfall. The gilt-edged market-making operations of the bank generated pre-tax profits of over £30 million last year - making it the most profitable of all the City's gilt market-makers. The Bank of England estimates that the total profit of all 20 gilt market-makers was £13 million last year, which suggests that many other firms suffered large losses.

A close eye is being kept on the newly-merged investment banks.