Friday's Headlines: Top banks' commodities revenues jump by 55%

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Commodities was the fastest-growing segment of banks' fixed income business, as a group of 10 large banks saw their commodities revenues jump by 55% in the Q1, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The group, which includes Goldman, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase, Citi, BofA and Barclays, are profiting from climbing prices in oil, gold, copper and silver. JP Morgan Chase's commodities unit is the largest of the banks, with 1,800 employees, has earned $750 million year-to-date, compared to just $514 million for all of 2010.

Commodities account for just 7% of banks' total fixed-income revenues.

Other news:

Goldman, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse to underwrite the Groupon IPO. [DealBook]

The Carlyle Group is vetting investment banks to underwrite its IPO. [Reuters]

Citi closed its $400 million hedge fund Quantitative Strategies, which had no outside investors. [Bloomberg]

Goldman sold its Houston-based Litton Loan Servicing to Ocwen Financial, two months after writing down the the mortgage-servicing business by $200 million. [BusinessWeek]

BankUnited, a Florida lender that was taken over by private equity firms, will buy Herald National Bank of New York for $71.4 million. [DealBook]

Intermediate Capital Group is creating a $2.9 billion mezzanine fund. [Financial Times]

The SEC is investigating insider trading questions at hedge fund giant SAC Capital. [NY Times]

Obama nominates senior KKR advisor John Bryson to head the Commerce Department. [Fortune]

SVB Financial Group's Silicon Valley Bank has been expanding its lending to entrepreneurs and start-ups in China. [WSJ]

Nomura cut the pay of its top 10 executives by 38% last year. [Bloomberg]