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Investment gains push Goldman profits up two-fold

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US investment bank Goldman Sachs Tuesday reported earnings that doubled last year's level due to a big jump in revenues from its own investments and lending.

Goldman reported net income of $1.9 billion on revenues of $8.6 billion for the second quarter, more than twice the year-ago profit of $927 million on revenues of $6.6 billion.

Goldman reported per share earnings of $3.70, well above the $2.82 forecast by analysts.

Compared with the year-ago quarter, Goldman reported giant growth in its investing and lending segment, primarily investments in private equities and debt.

Net revenues in this area grew from $203 million in the year-ago quarter to $1.4 billion. it also included Goldman's divestment of its remaining shares in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China during the quarter.

Goldman also scored large gains in its investment banking division. Net revenues from equity and debt underwriting grew 45.2 percent to $1.1 billion.

In the previous quarter, Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein spoke cautiously about the global economic outlook. His tone was somewhat more upbeat Tuesday.

"Improving economic conditions in the US drove client activity and the strength of our global client franchise allowed us to deliver positive performance across a number of our businesses," Blankfein said.

"While the operating environment has shown noticeable signs of improvement, we continue to put a premium on disciplined risk management, particularly in regard to the firm's strong capital and liquidity levels."

Goldman said its fixed income, currency and commodities business for clients operated in a "generally favorable environment" in the first half of the quarter, but encountered "more challenging" time later in the quarter due to greater interest rate and market volatility.

Revenues in this segment grew 12 percent from the year-ago period to $2.5 billion.

Goldman said total staff decreased 1 percent compared with the end of the first quarter. Compensation and benefits rose 27 percent compared with the year-ago quarter.

Goldman shares were up 0.6 percent in pre-market trading.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130716/investment-gains-push-goldman-profits-two-fold