Unconfirmed news reports indicate that Merrill Lynch, New York, may be facing more liquidity problems and may be considering an investment by Singapore-based Temasek Holdings to offset them.Neither company has commented on the rumored $5 billion investment from Temasek, according to the reports. Merrill's estimated fourth-quarter writedown related to collateralized debt obligations and subprime mortgages totals $8.6 billion, according to a Dec. 20 report by analysts David Trone and Ivy De Dianous in the New York office of Fox-Pitt Kelton Cochran Caronia Waller. A Credit Suisse equity researchers' report issued the same day also pegs the estimated Merrill writedown at about $8 billion. Merrill Lynch can be found online at http://www.ml.com.

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