BarCap boss says good quarter not a "one-off"

LONDON Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:33am BST

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LONDON (Reuters) - The head of Barclays' investment bank said an improvement in earnings from banks including Goldman Sachs during the first quarter was not a "one-off" phenomenon.

"You have to look at which banks have improved their competitive position during this period, and in that regard I don't think it's a one-off," Bob Diamond, president of the bank and head of Barclays Capital, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

The comments helped lift Barclays (BARC.L) shares 5.7 percent to 208 pence by 8:20 a.m., the top performing UK blue-chip stock.

Other UK banks were also higher, and the DJ Stoxx European bank sector .SX7p was up 1.3 percent on optimism that JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) would report strong Q1 results later on Thursday.

Diamond said first-quarter results from Goldman and Wells Fargo (WFC.N) had offered "good news for the whole industry".

"It's been quite a while since we've seen analysts talk about revenue as opposed to writedowns and balance-sheet risks," he said.

Barclays had "a very positive quarter" and had seen significant market share gains in investment banking, thanks to last year's takeover of Lehman Brothers' U.S. business and from the retreat of troubled rivals, he said.

Barclays has not yet reported first-quarter results, but said in mid-March it had seen a strong trading performance. It is expected to issue an update at its annual shareholder meeting on April 23.

(Reporting by Steve Slater, editing by Will Waterman)