April 1, 2014 / 7:02 PM / in 4 years

Goldman to sell NYSE's designated market-maker unit -report

April 1 (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc 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 understood to have lined up a buyer for the unit, which analysts value at about $30 million or less, the newspaper reported. (link.reuters.com/baj28v)

NYSE and Goldman Sachs declined to comment on the story.

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.

The unit has drawn interest from several computerized trading firms, the FT said.

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.

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. (Reporting by Aashika Jain in Bangalore; Editing by Tom Brown)

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