Merrill Lynch chief sees no need for more capital: report

TOKYO, April 4, 2008 (AFP) – New Merrill Lynch chief executive John Thain said he saw no need for the US investment bank to raise fresh capital, in an interview with Japan’s Nikkei business newspaper published on Friday.

He also said there were no plans to sell Merrill, which previously got an infusion of 12.8 billion dollars from a Singapore sovereign wealth fund and elsewhere after sustaining massive losses in the subprime crisis.

“We have plenty of capital going forward and we don’t need to come back into the equity market,” Thain told the paper.

“For 2007, we lost 8.6 billion dollars after tax, but we raised 12.8 billion in new capital,” he said. “We raised significantly more capital than we lost.”

Thain replaced Stan O’Neal, who resigned in October after Merrill unveiled massive losses because of its bets on mortage-related securities, which were hit hard by the subprime credit crisis in the United States.

He declined direct comment on speculation that Merrill will report a third straight quarterly loss for the three months ended in March, the Nikkei said, but acknowledged the firm’s portfolio had taken a beating.

“If you look at the prices of credit-related assets, mortgages, leverage