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Goldman Sachs cuts quarterly earnings citing legal provisions

FILE PHOTO: The Goldman Sachs logo is displayed on a post above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, September 11, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc on Friday lowered its previously stated quarterly earnings as the bank set aside more money to pay for its settlement with the Malaysian government over the multi-billion 1MDB scandal.

Goldman lowered its net earnings applicable to common shareholders to $197 million from $2.25 billion, in a filing published on Friday. reut.rs/3h0Scd7

The revised earnings reflect a larger-than-previously-announced provision for legal and regulatory costs due to a $3.9-billion settlement the bank reached with the Malaysia government. reut.rs/3jzmhCJ

The bank said it set aside $2.96 billion in the second quarter for legal and regulatory costs, up from the $945-million Goldman said it set aside on July 15 during its second quarter earnings announcement.

The bank’s stock was down 0.1% in pre-market trading.

On July 24, Goldman agreed to pay the Malaysian government $2.5 billion cash and return at least $1.4 billion in proceeds from assets linked to sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), in exchange for Malaysia dropping all criminal charges against the bank.

U.S. and Malaysian authorities estimate $4.5 billion was stolen from the fund between 2009 and 2014. Goldman helped the fund raise $6.5 billion in two bond offerings, earning itself $600 million in fees, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Goldman faces a separate investigation by the DOJ, which is reportedly looking at whether the bank violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which bars U.S. companies from paying foreign government officials for help in getting or keeping business.

While it remains unclear if the bank's reserves could cover another settlement, the DOJ has pledged in recent years to consider parallel settlements when calculating corporate penalties. A source told Reuters in December that Goldman was in talks with U.S. officials to possibly pay up to $2 billion to resolve the investigation. reut.rs/2PCLAqJ

Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; editing by Jason Neely and Nick Zieminski

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