Morgan Stanley trims third quarter commodity trading risk


Morgan Stanley trimmed its commodity trading risk in the third quarter from the previous quarter, the bank reported on Friday, but held its position as the Wall Street firm with the most money at play in the sector.

Value-at-Risk (VaR) in commodities stood at $20 million in the third quarter, down from $24 million in the second quarter and unchanged from the third quarter of 2012. That compares with $17 million for Goldman Sachs and $13 million for JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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Morgan Stanley, typical of Wall Street banks, groups its commodities trading revenue under the fixed income, currency and commodities (FICC) category in its quarterly earnings and does not break down the sector individually, often leaving VaR as one of its key risk-reward indicators for commodities.

The bank's FICC revenues were down sharply, however, falling 44 percent to $835 million.

Goldman Sachs on Thursday said it had "significantly lower" revenues from commodities in the third quarter, and trimmed its VaR in the sector to $17 million from $19 million in the previous three months. JPMorgan held its VaR unchanged at $13 million in the third quarter.

Morgan Stanley's overall third-quarter revenue jumped 50 percent, helping adjusted earnings beat expectations, as higher income from equities sales and trading made up for a drop in the Wall Street bank and brokerage's fixed-income business.

(Reporting by David Sheppard in London; Editing by John Wallace and Theodore d'Afflisio)