Goldman Sachs sees income drop by a fifth - RTHK
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Goldman Sachs sees income drop by a fifth

2019-04-16 HKT 02:12
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  • Chief executive Davis Solomon said the bank was trying to resolve the 1MDB issue as soon as possible. File photo: AP
    Chief executive Davis Solomon said the bank was trying to resolve the 1MDB issue as soon as possible. File photo: AP
Goldman Sachs has reported lower first-quarter earnings on weakness in its traditional trading business, as it emphasises newer consumer-oriented ventures, including a credit card venture with Apple.

The bank saw net income plunge 20.3 percent from the same period of last year to US$2.1 billion. Revenue fell 12.7 percent to $8.8 billion.

The price of Goldman shares tumbled on the results and were joined by Citigroup, which dipped after reporting a slight increase in first-quarter profits.

Goldman encountered sharp declines in key trading divisions, such as equities and bonds. Market conditions improved from the prior quarter, but volatility was low, crimping trading activity, the investment bank said.

A bright spot was financial advising for mergers and acquisitions where it scored a boost in revenues, while underwriting revenues fell.

There were no major announcements about the scandal involving Malaysian fund 1MDB, which has prompted a series of government probes.

"Nobody wants to get to a resolution on this faster than we do," chief executive David Solomon said. "And we are absolutely committed to doing everything that we can to move the process along as quickly as possible."

Executives outlined a number of growth initiatives, including its expansion of its "Marcus" online consumer lending and banking venture that has been touted as a means to diversify the firm beyond Wall Street.

Marcus offers personal loans and has attracted deposits by paying much higher interest rates than rival banks. The bank hopes to lure in users who will evolve into long-term customers who can help drive profitability.

A key element will be the launch of a credit card with Apple, although there is no launch date yet. (AFP)