Losses weigh on Salomon earnings

Global investment banking group Salomon Inc yesterday reported first-quarter net earnings of $81m, with strong trading profits of $239m offset by losses in the firm's client-driven businesses, notably a large write-down on Latin American securities positions.

The results were ahead of analysts' expectations, and compared with profits of $66m for the same period last year. Salomon's traditionally strong proprietary trading businesses re-asserted themselves during the first quarter, but the client-driven businesses, whose activities include capital raising and secondary market trading on behalf of clients, dragged down group earnings with pre-tax losses of $179m.

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