Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are in Opposition Over Commodities

The landscape of the commodity markets competition on Wall Street could be in for a facelift, as the two familiar trading rivals Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) appear headed in opposite directions as both banks decide how they will deal with stiffened regulatory restrictions on trading under the Dodd-Frank Act.

For its part, Goldman Sachs squashed rumors Tuesday that the bank’s upper management was considering a sale of its commodities business. The Wall Street Journal reported that the bank had held “preliminary internal discussions” about potentially splitting off its commodities unit. Goldman reacted swiftly, asserting the reports were not true and that executives had never ‘seriously’ considered such a move.

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“While we constantly evaluate all our businesses, senior management never seriously looked at spinning out all or part of our commodity business,” Goldman Sachs spokeswoman Sophie Bullock said in an email.

Morgan Stanley, on the other hand, seems eager to unload a sizable chunk of its commodities business, and is engaging in ongoing discussions with Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund about a potential sale.

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