Sunday , January 19 2020

‘Traders recovering from brutal 2018 finish’

Bloomberg

JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc won’t be repeating 2018’s rough close to the year.
Fourth-quarter trading revenue will rise “meaningfully” from a year earlier, driven by the fixed-income business, JPMorgan Chief Financial Officer Jennifer Piepszak said at an investor conference. Citigroup CFO Mark Mason said at the conference that the bank’s trading revenue in the period is set to rise by a percentage in the “high teens.”
Brian Kleinhanzl, an analyst at KBW, wrote in a note last week that major US banks will probably post an average 25% jump in fixed-income, currencies and commodities trading and a 3% revenue increase in equities.
“I can tell you that we expect to be up meaningfully year on year, both FICC and equities, more so in FICC,” Piepszak said. “I’m not going to put a finer point on it than that because we still have a lot of runway in front of us for the remainder of the quarter.”
Last year’s final quarter was rough on banks’ trading desks as wild market swings kept clients on the sidelines, with JPMorgan’s bond-trading unit posting its lowest revenue since the financial crisis.
JPMorgan bond-trading revenue plunged 18% in last year’s fourth quarter, to $1.86 billion, more than outweighing an increase for the equity business. Citigroup posted a 14% drop in overall fixed-income and equities trading revenue, amounting to a total $2.61 billion for the period.
“We’re not immune from the weather,” JPMorgan Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said when last year’s results were
released.
Mason warned that Citigroup expects investment-banking revenue to be flat to slightly down from a year ago amid less client activity in the fourth quarter. He added that expenses for the period will rise after the firm made cuts a year ago.
Piepszak said that JPMorgan expects investment-banking revenue to be flat relative to last year, when it generated $1.82 billion in fees. That’s more optimistic than in October, when
the firm’s executives predicted a decline.
Bank of America Corp CEO Brian Moynihan was scheduled to discuss the bank’s prospects at the conference.

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