Surge in share issues gives Goldman a lift

Tim Wallace
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GOLDMAN Sachs’ profits dipped in the final quarter of 2013 with trading incomes down in fixed income, currencies and commodities, the giant bank said yesterday.

However, its investment banking income surged, stopping the quarter from becoming a washout and driving up overall profits for the full year.

Goldman’s profits came in at $2.3bn (£1.4bn) in the final quarter, down 19 per cent on the same period of 2012.

Investment banking revenues jumped 22 per cent to $1.7bn, driven by equity underwriting incomes which more than doubled to $622m.

Meanwhile operating expenses for the quarter in the bank as a whole rose six per cent to $5.2bn and compensation jumped 11 per cent to $2.2bn.

Headcount rose by 500 over the year to 32,900, reducing average pay for the full year down 4.5 per cent to $383,000.

The bank’s return on equity came in at 12.7 per cent for the final quarter and its Basel I tier one capital ratio rose from 16.3 per cent to 16.7 per cent.

Chairman and chief executive Lloyd Blankfein was optimistic despite the poor bond market trading figures.

“Our work in advancing our client franchise and in ensuring continued cost discipline has allowed us to provide solid returns even in a somewhat challenging environment,” Blankfein said.

Goldman’s shares fell 1.38 per cent.

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