Bankers Trust denies talk of huge losses

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NEW YORK - Shares of leading international banks took a hammering on Wall Street yesterday amid rumours of big losses in the derivatives market, this time focused on Bankers Trust, writes Larry Black.

The bank, among the five largest US players in the huge market, was obliged to issue a statement saying its operations this year had been profitable and denying derivatives traders had been sacked.

Early on trading rooms were swept by rumours of huge losses because of recent interest rate reversals, of dismissals of executives, and even of an impending bankruptcy filing. Trading in the bank's shares was delayed nearly two hours because of the rumours, prompting a general sell-off in large bank shares.

Bankers Trust reopened down more than dollars 3 at dollars 775 8 . Shares in JP Morgan, Citicorp and Chemical Bank, all large derivatives traders, also fell.

Traders said that, despite the denials, the reports pushed up the bank's cost of borrowing in the interbank market.