Weekly Global News Wrap Up: Morgan Stanley's wealth unit boosts earnings amidst trading decline; Deutsche Bank and UBS in talks for merger of AM units

And Saudi Arabia’s largest Islamic bank saw Q1 profits rise 21% to $771m.

From Reuters:

Morgan Stanley reported a 9% drop in quarterly earnings on Wednesday, but managed to beat analyst estimates through slight growth in its wealth management business, as well as cost cuts.

The bank gets about half its annual revenue from wealth management, which helps it ride out weak periods for trading and investment banking.

Overall, Morgan Stanley reported a quarterly profit of $2.34b and wealth management revenue rose slightly from a year ago, with profit margins holding steady at 27%. But the business looks robust compared with institutional securities which reported steep declines across trading, underwriting and investment banking.

From Bloomberg:

The asset-management units of Deutsche Bank AG and UBS Group AG are in “serious” talks to merge, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter it didn’t identify.

Discussions about a deal have been ongoing for “a couple of months” and one structure being considered is for UBS to split off its asset-management unit and fold it into Deutsche Bank’s DWS Group in exchange for shares in the larger group, according to the report. Deutsche Bank would remain the largest shareholder, the report said.

From Reuters:

Saudi Arabia’s biggest Islamic lender, Al Rajhi Bank, said net profit rose 21% in the three months ended March 31 to $771m (SAR2.89b).

The bank’s mortgage book grew 27% YoY in 2018 and it is looking for double digit growth for the next two to three years, Steve Bertamini, the bank’s CEO said in an interview.

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