Goldman Sachs to cut more jobs, eyes sharp fall in markets revenue

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Adds closing shares in paragraph 3, company details paragraphs 5-6, comment by Bank of America CEO in paragraph 9

By Saeed Azhar and Niket Nishant

NEW YORK, June 1 (Reuters) -Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N plans to cut more jobs as a difficult economic environment weighs on dealmaking and trading revenue may slump 25% this quarter, the bank's president said on Thursday.

"The macro backdrop is extraordinarily challenging," Goldman's president and chief operating officer, John Waldron, told investors at a conference, without specifying the scale of the layoffs.

Goldman Sachs shares closed down 2.3% on Thursday, in contrast to the S&P 500 financial index .SPSY, which rose 1.1% on the day.

The firm is expected to cut just under 250 jobs in the coming weeks, a source familiar with the matter told Reuters in May. In January, it let go of about 3,200 employees, its biggest head count reduction since the 2008 financial crisis.

Staffing cutbacks will help the Wall Street titan achieve its goal of reducing payroll expenses by $600 million, a target set in February that may be surpassed by the end of the year, Waldron said.

Revenue for both equities and fixed-income trading is expected to decline 25% this quarter compared with a year earlier, when rising interest rates and the war in Ukraine boosted market activity and fueled a 32% surge in revenue for its trading division.

"If you think about global banking and markets, the capital markets activity is more sluggish," Waldron said. Meanwhile, "activity levels are more muted" in equities and fixed income, he said.

Waldron's comments echo those of Wall Street rivals. Andy Saperstein, co-president of Morgan Stanley, warned on Wednesday that trading results will be "notably down" in the second quarter versus a year earlier, while "investment banking is also very challenged."

Bank of America Corp BAC.N expects investment banking fees and trading revenue to be broadly flat this quarter compared with a year earlier, its CEO, Brian Moynihan, said at the same conference on Thursday.

JPMorgan Chase & Co's JPM.N revenues for investment banking and trading are both expected to decline 15% in the second quarter, Daniel Pinto, the bank's president, said in May.

Goldman Sachs is running a sale process for its fintech business, GreenSky, and may take a writedown on the $500 million of goodwill, or the premium it paid above the assets' book value, Waldron said. Goldman Sachs agreed to buy GreenSky for $2.2 billion in late 2021.

"As the marketplace has gotten weaker, we've been monitoring whether that goodwill should be impaired over some period of time," he said.

The bank may also consider selling GreenSky's loan book separately.

Goldman Sachs earlier sold $1 billion worth of loans from its consumer bank, Marcus, and plans to further reduce the portfolio, it disclosed in April.

The bank's CEO, David Solomon, had championed its foray into consumer banking since taking the reins in 2018. But the retail business largely failed to gain traction against more established players and lost billions of dollars.

Waldron said Goldman has increased its financing revenue by $3 billion over the last three years and sees more room to take market share as other lenders such as regional banks step back.

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Reporting by Saeed Azhar in New York and Niket Nishant in Bengaluru
Additional reporting by Lananh Nguyen
Editing by Nick Zieminski, Marguerita Choy and Matthew Lewis


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