Morgan Stanley Posted Trading Losses on 37 Days During 2012

Morgan Stanley, owner of the world’s biggest brokerage, lost money in its trading businesses on 37 days last year, down from 64 days in 2011 and the fewest since 2007.

The bank’s traders lost money on 10 days in the fourth quarter, up from eight in the third quarter, the New York-based company said today in a regulatory filing. Morgan Stanley made more than $100 million on 23 days in 2012.

Trading revenue at the 10 largest global investment banks rose 13 percent last year, according to data from industry analytics firm Coalition Ltd., as concerns about Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis faded and the U.S. economy grew. Still, Morgan Stanley’s trading revenue dropped 10 percent as clients shied away from dealing with the firm during the second quarter amid a debt-ratings downgrade from Moody’s Investors Service.

In January, Chief Executive Officer James Gorman, 54, announced plans to cut annual expenses by $1.6 billion over the next two years and reduce the amount of capital used by the fixed-income trading business as he seeks to double return on equity even without improvement in markets.

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