Goldman Sachs earnings hit by hefty legal charge

GMT 14:27 2016 Wednesday ,20 January

Arab Today, arab today Goldman Sachs earnings hit by hefty legal charge

Goldman Sachs led CEO Lloyd Blankfein
New York - AFP

Goldman Sachs reported a big drop in earnings Wednesday as hefty legal expenses and lower trading revenues more than offset the gains from strong merger advising activity.

Earnings for the fourth quarter dropped about 71.8 percent to $574 million.

Revenues fell 5.4 percent to $7.3 billion.

Profits were hit by a $1.8 billion charge to settle US litigation on allegations the investment bank fraudulently marketed mortgage bonds to investors before the financial crisis. 

Goldman announced last week it had reached a tentative $5.1 billion deal with regulators to settle the litigation.

Goldman said revenues from trading in its fixed income, currency and commodities investments fell eight percent to $1.1 billion compared with the year-ago period. The results were marred by a "challenging environment generally characterized by difficult market-making conditions," it said.

Revenues from equities trading fell nine percent to $1.8 billion, reflecting low trading volumes.

On the positive side, Goldman notched a 27 percent gain in financial advisory revenues behind brisk merger and acquisition activity.

"We are pleased that our diversified business mix allowed us to deliver solid results in a year characterized by uneven global economic activity," said Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein.

For all of 2015, Goldman reported earnings of $5.6 billion, down 31 percent from 2014.

Goldman shares fell 2.4 percent in pre-market trade to $153.00.

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