Goldman says legal losses could be up to $1.9 billion more than reserves

FILE PHOTO: The ticker symbol and logo for Goldman Sachs is displayed on a screen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., December 18, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc said losses related to ongoing lawsuits could possibly exceed its reserve for legal matters by up to $1.9 billion.

The amount disclosed in the filing is considered as a separate accounting item from legal reserves, and covers all matters considered “reasonably possible”, the bank said.

In September, the investment bank said its losses could be up to $1.8 billion in excess of its reserve. The bank did not give specific details on why it raised its loss estimate.

Apart from the lawsuits Goldman is already facing, it is being investigated by Malaysian authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice for its role as underwriter and arranger of three bond sales that raised $6.5 billion for 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

The Malaysian government said in December it was seeking up to $7.5 billion in reparations from Goldman over its dealings with 1MDB.

The bank added $844 million to its legal and regulatory provisions last year, more than four times what it set aside in 2017, though it did not specify the purpose.

Goldman shares were little changed in early trading.

Reporting By Elizabeth Dilts and Aparajita Saxena; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty