Morgan Stanley profit jumps 45% on trading boom

(Reuters) – Morgan Stanley posted a better-than-expected surge in quarterly profit on Thursday, driven by strong trading gains as the coronavirus pandemic drove record swings in global financial markets.

The bank’s trading unit recorded a 68% jump in revenue, led by a nearly 168% surge in bond trading. Equities trading revenue rose 23%. The results mirrored those of rival Goldman Sachs Holdings Inc, which posted its best trading revenue in a decade.

Investment banking was another bright spot for Morgan Stanley, where revenue jumped 39% as businesses continued to access the market to benefit from the lower rate environment and to raise liquidity.

Morgan Stanley set aside $239 million as provisions for credit losses, down from $407 million in the previous quarter.

The bank’s earnings attributable to common shareholders rose to $3.2 billion, or $1.96 per share, in the second quarter ended June 30, from $2.2 billion, or $1.23 per share, a year ago.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of $1.12 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

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