10.26.2016
By John D'Antona

US Banks Grab Larger Slice of Equities Trading After Recent Exits

(this article originally appeared on Global Investor)

US investment banks are capturing a larger slice of equities trading after exits from RBS, Standard Chartered and more recently Nomura.

In a note to clients, Citi analyst Andrew Coombs said bank retrenchment in Europe has resulted in market share gains for Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.

RBS closed its equities business four years ago while Standard Chartered announced plans to close the bulk of its global equities operation in 2015.

Meanwhile Nomura axed hundreds of jobs this summer after detailing plans to wind down its European equities trading business.

When grouped together, Citi says the top five banks (Goldman, JPM, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Credit Suisse) have seen their market share of equities trading rise 7% over the past decade.

“The largest banks in equities typically have stronger prime finance market shares,” Coombs added.

However, he notes that Credit Suisse has lost some of its market share in the last two years as it was forced to rationalise its prime balance sheet.

Citi’s statistics show that Morgan Stanley had a 16.2% market share of equities sales and trading globally in the first half of 2016.

Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan follow with 13.6% and 12.2% respectively.

Goldman recently recently noted that an “extraordinarily strong” competitive environment hasn’t allowed for much repricing, other than the “rational” repricing seen in products like prime brokerage.

Morgan Stanley has said that it expects to see a greater “concentration of market share among the top players”.

Citi’s tables put Bank of America in fourth place with a market share of 8.1%.

Credit Suisse is next with 7.3%, UBS 7.1% and Deutsche Bank and SocGen level on 6.3%.

Third quarter results

So far US banks have reported much stronger investment banking revenues than anticipated in this year’s third quarter.

Coombs expects Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and UBS to lose share again to US peers as they continue to restructure.

Troubled Deutsche Bank will report its results on October 27th and the house view at Citi is that the German lender needs to raise capital.

“Too many questions exist with respect to revenue attrition, cost save delivery, litigation risks and the weak capital position,” Coombs said.

“It may prefer to wait until litigation issues have been resolved, but the further the share price falls, the more dilutive a capital raise becomes.”

Litigation

Overall, Coombs believes European banks have passed the worst on litigation expenses, which in 2015 fell year-on-year for the first time since the financial crisis.

“In order, we see greatest outstanding litigation risks at RBS, followed by Deutsche Bank, UBS, Credit Suisse and Barclays,” he wrote.

 

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