New York: Morgan Stanley’s fixed-income traders succumbed to the same downturn that afflicted the rest of Wall Street in the fourth quarter, posting the lowest revenue in three years.
Bond-trading revenue tumbled 30% to $564 million, the biggest drop of the five largest US investment banks and well below the $823 million average estimate of analysts.
Clients spooked by extended bouts of volatility, especially during December, also left fixed-income operations reeling at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., which reported results earlier this week. Morgan Stanley blamed credit and rates products.
Shares of Morgan Stanley dropped 3.4% at 7:19am in early trading in New York.
Equities trading also trailed rivals, little changed from a year earlier while the firm’s competitors posted gains. Merger-advisory work benefited from a deal making boom that pushed revenue from that business 41% higher to $734 million. That beat the average estimate of $605 million.
Even as bond-trading sinks deeper into decline, big banks are setting records in other areas. They had already topped $100 billion in annual profit for the first time before Morgan Stanley reported results. Credit goes to the US tax overhaul that cut levies on lenders, rising interest rates and a retail-banking boom.