Bloomberg News

NEW YORK - Goldman Sachs Group Inc. has told its stock analysts to disclose their ownership of shares in companies they cover.

Its move stops short of banning the analysts from owning such shares - a step recently taken by Merrill Lynch & Co. and Credit Suisse First Boston to defuse criticism of conflicts of interest in Wall Street research.

The Securities and Exchange Commission and Congress are probing whether analysts' own holdings, or their employers' investment-banking interests, taint their research. "We feel this provides our investment clients with a clear disclosure of our analysts' positions,'' Goldman spokesman Ed Canaday said. "Research reports will include whether analysts have personal or household positions in a security mentioned in the report.''

The disclosures, which took effect this week, will be included with Goldman's standard statement at the end of its research reports, Canaday said. He declined to comment on why the firm, the No. 1 arranger of stock sales this year, is not going as far as Credit Suisse and Merrill Lynch.

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