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JPMorgan stockpiling cash, waiting for interest rates to rise -CEO

07/13/2021 | 03:01pm EDT
FILE PHOTO: JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon speaks at a conference in Washington

(Corrects June 14 story to clarify Dimon believes rising inflation will eventually lead to higher interest rates, and that the bank's investing decisions depend on internal choices in next 6-9 months)

NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon said on Monday the bank is holding around $500 billion in cash, putting it in a position to benefit from higher interest rates.

"We've actually been effectively stockpiling more and more cash, waiting for opportunities to invest at higher rates," Dimon said during a virtual conference held by Morgan Stanley. "So our balance sheet is positioned (to) benefit from rising rates."

Dimon, who heads the largest U.S. bank by assets, said he expects rising inflation to result in higher interest rates over the next 9 months.

"I think you're also going to have a very, very strong economy," which will also benefit the retail bank, he said. "We try to take all that in consideration (when) we manage the balance sheet."

The Federal Reserve is expected to make a statement on Wednesday that will indicate when the U.S. central bank is likely to begin paring back its unprecedented monetary stimulus.

The Fed's preferred inflation gauge, the core personal consumption expenditures price index, jumped in April to 3.1%, its highest annual rate since July 1992.

Dimon also forecast that the bank's bond and equity trading division will make $6 billion in revenues this quarter, and its investment bank may report one of its best-ever quarters.

"I would just use a number like up 20% from both prior year and prior quarter. It could be 15% to 20%," Dimon said.

Dimon said the investment bank is benefiting from several big deals that "may or may not close" this quarter, as well as strong client activity in equities and debt capital markets and mergers and acquisitions.

(Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Nick Zieminski)

ę Reuters 2021
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