Goldman Sachs to reveal $3 bln hit - Daily Telegraph

Monday, March 17, 2008

Daily Telegraph reports the co will this week announce asset writedowns worth about $3 bln, its biggest jolt to date from the crisis threatening to engulf the world's financial markets. Goldman, which has largely thrived amid the turmoil elsewhere on Wall Street, is expected to report a fall in first-quarter earnings of about 50%. The writedown will underline how the financial turbulence is now affecting even the most stellar performers. The bank's $3 bln write­down will be based partly on the declining value of its 4.9% stake in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, which is held separately on Goldman's balance sheet. The share price of ICBC, which conducted the world's biggest ever initial public offering in 2006, has fallen by about 14% in recent months. Goldman invested $2.3 bln for its minority shareholding in ICBC. Goldman will also take a hit of about $1.6bn in its leveraged loans business, which has seen a marked decline in recent months amid a dearth in demand for trading bank debt. A further $1.1 bln will be written down in connection with assets owned by Goldman's principal investment area, the bank's private equity arm.