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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 07:27 GMT
Goldman's 8bn Christmas jackpot
File with Goldman Sachs written along spine
Goldman has been boosted by strong trading in Asia
Goldman Sachs is to pay its staff more than 8bn ($15bn) in salaries, benefits and Christmas bonuses this year.

The handout follows another bumper year for the US investment bank, which has a major presence in the City of London.

Goldman reported a 93% jump in fourth quarter profits to a record $3.15bn, bringing its annual earnings for the year to $9.54bn.

The firm has reportedly asked its UK partners to contribute up to 6,000 towards this year's Christmas party.

If all of the company's British-based banking partners paid an average of 3,000 each, the London end-of-year party would cost in the region of 66,000, the Financial Times reported.

Protests

Goldman said it had set aside 8.5bn in salaries, bonuses and benefits for 2006 - up 40% from last year's figure - meaning staff worldwide could expect to receive an average of 320,000.

The world's largest investment bank said strong trading in Asia and several merger and acquisition deals had lifted its performance during the year.

However, Goldman has come in for criticism from many of its London office cleaners, who recently protested outside the firm's Fleet Street headquarters in a row over pay.

Goldman was the first of the major investment banks to report its full-year results. Analysts expect rivals Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns to unveil record earnings later this week.




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