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Goldman, Citi among banks curbing Italy trips over coronavirus fears - sources

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02/25/2020 | 02:36pm EST
People walk beneath a Citibank branch logo in the financial district of San Francisco, California

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Citigroup Inc, Credit Suisse and other banks have curbed trips to Italy amid fears that the coronavirus outbreak across the north of the country could quickly spread across Europe, sources said.

Lazard, BNP Paribas and Deutsche Bank also rushed to warn staff against all "non-essential travel" to northern Italy, four sources told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity as banking policies are confidential.

Bankers working on sensitive deals were told to seek special permission from top management if they still wanted to fly into Milan, Bologna or other northern Italian towns, the sources said.

Goldman said its travel restrictions applied to Italy's Lombardy and Veneto regions, as well as to South Korea. It also advised staff against travel to, from and within the rest of Italy.

Both JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs told staff across Europe, the Middle East and Africa that they needed to isolate themselves and stay away from the office for at least 14 days if they had recently returned from northern Italy.

JPMorgan stressed that regardless of any flu symptoms people who had recently visited Italy's most impacted municipalities would need to follow a 14-day quarantine.

Japanese bank Nomura was first to adopt a rigorous approach by restricting client visits to all countries with coronavirus cases, including France, one of the sources said.

"They are all grounded," this source said referring to Nomura's bankers in Milan.

Citi, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs and Nomura declined to comment. Lazard was not immediately available.

Coronavirus infections have soared across northern Italy in the past few days, causing almost 300 cases and 11 deaths.

It is the first time banks have restricted trips within Europe as most financial institutions have so far only applied travel bans to mainland China.


Nearly 300 people in Italy have come down with the virus since Friday, latest data showed, the vast majority of them in the wealthy northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto.

Most financial institutions have told their employees living near the affected areas to work from home rather than the office and postpone business trips.

Morgan Stanley, Lazard and Barclays have empty offices in Milan as most staff are working remotely, three other sources said.

Credit Suisse has also encouraged local bankers to stay home and avoid face-to-face client visits, they said.

The banks declined to comment.

Milan-based Mediobanca and UniCredit issued statements to emphasise their respective commitment to keeping employees safe at home.

French banks BNP and Credit Agricole urged Italian staff to limit business trips, rely on "smart working" and suspend training activities and internal events.

Italian private equity funds including Clessidra SGR and Armonia SGR, as well as state-backed funds Fondo FSI and Fondo Italiano d'Investimento, have cancelled their planned attendance at the SuperReturn conference in Berlin where they were set to talk about buyout deals in Italy.

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said on Tuesday the economic fallout from the outbreak could be "very strong" but said he was hopeful the contagion would soon come under control.

"I can't say I'm not worried ... but I'm confident we'll have a containing effect in the next few days," he said.

(Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia and Sinead Cruise in London and Valentina Za in Milan; Additional reporting by Maya Nikolaeva, Chibuike Oguh, Stephen Jewkes and Clara Denina; Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Alistair Bell)

By Pamela Barbaglia, Valentina Za and Sinead Cruise

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BARCLAYS PLC -2.45% 165.86 Delayed Quote.-5.36%
BNP PARIBAS -4.88% 48.7 Real-time Quote.-3.09%
CITIGROUP INC. -4.61% 69.34 Delayed Quote.-9.21%
CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG -3.34% 12.285 Delayed Quote.2.17%
CRÉDIT AGRICOLE -3.62% 12.24 Real-time Quote.-1.74%
DEUTSCHE BANK AG -1.89% 8.771 Delayed Quote.29.25%
GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC. -3.63% 216.59 Delayed Quote.-2.34%
LAZARD LTD -3.80% 37.73 Delayed Quote.-1.83%
MEDIOBANCA S.P.A. -0.47% 8.806 Delayed Quote.-4.10%
MORGAN STANLEY -4.06% 47.73 Delayed Quote.2.54%
NOMURA CO., LTD. -1.27% 1166 End-of-day quote.0.87%
NOMURA HOLDINGS, INC. -0.46% 561.8 End-of-day quote.-0.09%
UNICREDIT S.P.A. -1.80% 12.412 Delayed Quote.1.26%
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Financials (USD)
Sales 2020 36 903 M
EBIT 2020 12 419 M
Net income 2020 8 541 M
Debt 2020 198 B
Yield 2020 2,34%
P/E ratio 2020 9,15x
P/E ratio 2021 8,39x
EV / Sales2020 7,46x
EV / Sales2021 7,40x
Capitalization 77 617 M
Duration : Period :
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Technical analysis trends GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC.
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Income Statement Evolution
Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 28
Average target price 265,98  $
Last Close Price 224,54  $
Spread / Highest target 63,4%
Spread / Average Target 18,5%
Spread / Lowest Target -19,8%
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David Michael Solomon Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
John E. Waldron President & Chief Operating Officer
Stephen M. Scherr Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
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