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Merrill's Dublin unit posts $101m banks

Published 10/11/2010 | 05:00

DUBLIN-based Merrill Lynch Group Holdings made after-tax profits of $101m in 2009, according to accounts filed with the Companies Registration Office. In 2008, the Irish operations of the US investment bank had generated a €1.4bn loss.

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Profits in 2009 came despite a €2.75m fine imposed by the Financial Regulator for two incidents when traders failed to appropriately value their positions, the accounts said.

The incidents resulted in losses of $375m at the bank. That loss was ultimately deducted from the final profit. Operating income increased to $1.7bn from $1.5bn over the course of 2009 while operating expenses were almost halved from $3bn to $1.6bn.

The 2009 results are in line with the general recovery of US banks after a disastrous year in 2008. Merrill Lynch's US parent came close to bankruptcy in late 2008. The bank was rescued by Bank of America and rapidly bounced back.

Merrill Lynch Group Holding makes the bulk of its money from dealing profits, income from facilitating trading in securities.

When the global economy lurched to a recovery in 2009 volatility led to higher profits for banks even as risk in the economy remained high.

Irish Independent

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