Merrill does not plan to raise more capital


US investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co does not plan to raise more capital and will continue to shrink its balance sheet amid the global credit crunch, Chief Executive John Thain said on Tuesday.

Thain also said that while the bank has not announced layoffs, it would be logical for it to focus on expenses.

"We deliberately raised more capital than we lost last year ... we believe that will allow us to not have to go back to the equity market in the foreseeable future," Thain told a briefing in Tokyo.

Merrill has so far written down $24 billion worth of investments related to the troubled US mortgage market.

Thain's comments echo those he made to Japan's Nikkei business daily in an interview published last week.

Merrill has raised about $12.8 billion of capital since late 2007, following heavy subprime losses in the third and fourth quarters.

The bank has also looked beyond the United States for its funding, raising $6.6 billion from a group including Japanese, Korean and Kuwaiti investors. (Reuters)