Goldman Negotiates with Heungkuk - Analyst Blog

On Wednesday, South Korean insurer-Heungkuk Life Insurance Co. withdrawn the case filed against New York-based TheGoldman Sachs Group Inc. ( GS ) earlier this year. Withdrawal of lawsuit came after both the firms agreed to make out of court settlement through negotiations.

In March, Heungkuk filed a lawsuit against Goldman in federal court in Manhattan over a collateralized debt obligation (CDO) worth $1 billion. The complaint lodged claims that Goldman deceptively sold the financial instrument called Timberwolf CDO. It alleged that the company sold the sub-prime mortgage-linked security that gradually failed and also misrepresented the value of instrument by providing materially misleading statements.

CDOs typically repackage bonds and other assets into new securities. CDOs are not traded on a public exchange, allowing firms like Goldman to generate fees by brokering deals between buyers and sellers. However, CDOs have performed dismally since they were invested in securities comprising sub-prime mortgages, which are known to have larger-than-average risk of defaulting in the market. Eventually, the market downturn ruined the investment banker's expectations, resulting in huge losses for the common investors.

The lawsuit filed seeks $47 million in damages related to Goldman's alleged false representations. According to Heungkuk, the investment followed Goldman's guidance, which indicated that the market for such securities had stabilized and this is a suitable time to enter into such markets. According to the suit, Goldman sold those investments having the idea of non-performance of such securities.

However, Goldman has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing. According to the firm, both short positions and investment risks associated with the CDO were informed clearly to the investors. Heungkuk is looking forward to the terms of negotiations to sort out the matter completely along with the settlement.

In the last few months, Goldman has been facing a number of lawsuits related to mortgage-backed securities. Last year also, Goldman settled a charge by paying $550 million for not disclosing the buyers the role of a hedge fund in formulating the CDOs and taking a short position and betting on them to perform poorly in the open market.

Therefore, the step taken by Goldman would indicate accepting a fine of millions of dollars, but would restrict the commotion that has resolute the company since the increasing number of lawsuits were filed against the company.

Recently, one of the U.S. mega banks, Citigroup Inc. 's ( C ) settlement deal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) got messy. The SEC is appealing against a federal judge's decision to reject its $285 million settlement of securities fraud charges with Citi.

With the latest settlement, Goldman has moved a step ahead ending its lawsuit related troubles. Goldman currently retains a Zacks #5 Rank, which translates into a short-term 'Strong Sell' rating.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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