Top 10 investment bank revenues rise in third quarter: survey

Fri Nov 14, 2014 3:12am EST
 
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LONDON (Reuters) - Banks' financial trading revenues rose in the third quarter thanks to an increase in market volatility, but the rise was not enough to offset the fall seen in the first half of the year, according to a new survey on Friday.

Trading revenue for the top 10 global investment banks totaled $36.5 billion in the three months to September, a rise of 11 percent on the same period a year ago, according to industry analytics firm Coalition.

This was largely driven by a 16 percent rise in fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC), which benefited from greater volatility caused by uncertainty over U.S. and European monetary policies and geo-political instability.

Coalition does not break out third-quarter revenues by segment, but said rates and foreign exchange picked up in the three months to end-September.

That marks a change from previous months, when the low interest rate environment together with the effect of tougher regulations forcing banks to hold more capital squeezed returns.

The first half weakness was reflected in year-to-date FICC revenues, which were 7 percent behind last year, Coalition said.

In equities, revenue was $9.9 billion, 3 percent up on last year. Growth came from prime services, as hedge funds, sitting on record assets under management, boosted activity.

Investment banking divisions (IBDs), which underwrite and arrange share issues and other deals, saw revenue climb 12 percent to $9.4 billion in the third quarter.

Coalition said the availability of cheap financing had given companies the confidence to pursue deals, while favorable investor sentiment supported stock market listings.   Continued...

 
Traders gather at the Goldman Sachs post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid