March 01, 2013 at 09:54 AM EST
Goldman reports fewest trading-day losses
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., which generated 53% of revenue from sales and trading last year, recorded losses from that business on 16 days in 2012, the fewest since the bank started reporting the figure in 2004. The days of losses, detailed in a regulatory filing from the New York-based company today, were down from 54 in 2011 and below the previous low of 19 days in 2009. Traders made more than $100 million on 41 days, down from 54 days a year earlier and the least since 2005. Goldman Sachs said it's been redeeming hedge-fund holdings to comply with the Volcker rule and the firm outlined risks to its businesses from attempts to regulate foreign subsidiaries. Revenue from sales and trading advanced 5% to $18.1 billion in 2012 even as value-at-risk, a measure of how much the firm could lose from trades in a single day, was the lowest since 2005, the firm reported in January. "The bulk of what you're seeing is the decline in market volatilities, it's not a reduction in risk or capital deployment," Harvey M. Schwartz, Goldman Sachs's chief financial officer, told analysts on Jan. 16. "There was no top- down directive, for example, to take less risk." Morgan Stanley, owner of the world's biggest brokerage, reported Feb. 26 that it lost money in its trading business on 37 days last year, down from 64 in 2011 and the fewest since 2007. Traders in JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s investment bank lost money on seven days in 2012, down from 26 in 2011. Goldman Sachs's net income rose 68 percent last year to $7.5 billion as debt underwriting surged and the firm marked up the value of its own investments.
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