Merrill Lynch executives predict more profits from overseas

Executives from Merrill Lynch have predicted that up to 75 per cent of revenue from investment banking could be from overseas in five years' time.

The predictions, from the company's twin-heads of global markets and investment banking Dow Kim and Greg Fleming, are sure to cause further concern about Wall Street's status as the world's dominant financial centre as more and more US banks' revenue increasingly comes from abroad.

Last year 50 per cent of Lehman Brothers and Morgan Stanley's overall revenues were from outside the US, compared to 37 per cent of those of Merrill Lynch. And it is thought that favorable factors in overseas markets such as Europe's adoption of the euro facilitating takeovers and the economic boom in Asia will continue to drive the drain overseas.

Commenting in an interview with financial news website Starbulletin Jeff Edwards Merrill Lynch chief financial officer said: "As a general matter, there are more opportunities to grow outside the US.

"We will look for places where an acquisition can accelerate a growth opportunity, but we will remain disciplined."

Citigroup and Goldman Sach's decision to move management of their operation from New York to Europe have also fuelled fears that Wall Street's global predominance in the market is waning.

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