UPDATE 2-Goldman sees bank buy unlikely, analyst Whitney says

miércoles 30 de julio de 2008 16:15 CEST

(Adds analyst comments, background, byline; updates share price)

By Tenzin Pema

BANGALORE, July 30 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: Cotización) management was quoted by analyst Meredith Whitney as saying that the largest U.S. securities firm was "highly unlikely" to buy a retail bank given current regulation, and that current market environment posed strong headwinds to earnings growth.

"While much speculation has been made about Goldman's interest in acquiring a retail bank, we believe the chances are less than slim," the Oppenheimer & Co analyst wrote in a note to clients.

On Tuesday, analyst Whitney met with Goldman's Chief Financial Officer David Viniar, Co-President Jon Winkelried, and Head of Investment Banking David Solomon.

"Management stated that the company would only be interested in purchasing a bank if it was able to use the acquired deposits as a funding source for any other part of the business and without additional regulatory scrutiny," Whitney said.

"Obviously, current regulation makes that scenario impossible," she added.

Goldman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

The credit crunch has prompted analysts and investors to speculate that Goldman, eager to establish a new and more stable source of funds, would snap up a bank.   Continuación...