Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) is in the process of selling its "designated market-maker" unit, people familiar with the matter told the Financial Times on Tuesday.
The U.S.-based investment bank is in talks with Dutch firm IMC Financial Markets to sell the trading business, according to a Wall Street Journal report. (link.reuters.com/mak28v)
NYSE and Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the story. IMC Financial Markets could not be reached outside of normal business hours.
Formerly known as "specialists," designated market-makers operate both manually and electronically to facilitate price discovery during market openings, closings and during periods of substantial trading imbalances or instability for thousands of NYSE-listed stocks.
A person close to the matter told the FT that Goldman will retain a brokerage role and continue to provide liquidity electronically for NYSE stocks. (link.reuters.com/baj28v)
Goldman acquired the designated market-maker unit as part of its $6.5 billion purchase in 2000 of Spear, Leeds & Kellogg, which ranked as the largest U.S. stock and options clearing firm by volume at that time.
Other Spear, Leeds assets have helped Goldman build lucrative electronic stock trading platforms.