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Goldman adds caution to risk appetite

By Tracy Alloway

Goldman Sachs’ daily value at risk – a measure of the trading risk assumed by the Wall Street bank – fell to the lowest level since before the financial crisis, surprising analysts and prompting questions over whether the bank is quietly tweaking the way it does business ahead of new rules and regulation.

“Your gut wouldn’t have told you that VaR had dropped that much,” said Glenn Schorr, banking analyst at Nomura, while noting the rebound in markets in the first three months of the year.

The Wall Street bank reported first-quarter earnings of $3.92 a share on Tuesday, after net revenues fell 16 per cent to $9.95bn. Despite handily beating analysts’ earnings forecasts of $3.55 a share, the lower VaR suggests Goldman appears to have partially missed out on the recent rally in “risky” assets.
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