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Facebook 'likes' robust Morgan Stanley


Of course, there is another big IPO coming to a screen near you shortly. I am talking about the phenomenal Facebook deal, which is veiled under a hefty shroud of secrecy but which seems to be scheduled for the launch pad in mid-May. I wonder if that will mark the peak of the equity market this year? Morgan Stanley is the lead underwriter for this fiercely contended deal.

Morgan Stanley is gradually making headway as it emerges from its near-death experience in 2008. First-quarter profits for 2012 were surprisingly strong: net income of $1.4 billion beat analysts’ expectations. Underlying FICC revenues rose 34% to $2.6 billion from a year ago. It is interesting to compare this with Goldman Sachs, where revenues from the fixed-income, currencies and commodities unit fell by 20% in the first quarter as the bank scaled back risk. Congratulations are therefore in order to Morgan Stanley’s Colm Kelleher, co-president of the Institutional securities division, as well as Ken de Regt, the head of fixed income. However, Morgan Stanley is not only about the securities division. In 2009, it formed a wealth management joint venture with Citi’s Smith Barney operation.