June 30 (Reuters) - The following corporate finance-related stories were reported by media:
* The U.S. Justice Department is expected to announce on Monday a settlement with BNP Paribas involving a record fine of nearly $9 billion over alleged U.S. sanctions violations by France’s biggest bank, sources familiar with the matter said.
* A direct investing initiative that Blackstone Group LP is working on in its hedge funds group involves independent management companies, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Sunday, citing people familiar with the plans.
* Australia and New Zealand Banking Group is considering expanding its physical commodity trading business as it aims to step into the gap left by the retreat of big Wall Street and European banks, a bank source with direct knowledge of the matter said.
* Swiss private banking group Edmond de Rothschild has raised $530 million for its first Africa-focused fund, the Financial Times reported on Sunday.
* Online gambling company Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment has denied a report that it was considering the break-up or sale of its business, but said it was examining ways to increase shareholder value.
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