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Daily Dispatches – Aussie investment bankers brace for so-so bonuses

BONUS

Reporting season for US banks kicks off this week, and their Australian investment bankers say that bonuses are likely to remain in line with those received last year, making it the fourth consecutive year of middling compensation.

The Sydney Morning Herald, quoting from an article in the  Australian Financial Review, reports that most senior bankers said bonus season would be broadly muted bar some pockets of strength in particular divisions such as infrastructure, while junior bankers and analysts are expected to enjoy some respite with increases to their bonuses and total compensation.

Morgan Stanley’s Australian staff will be informed of their bonuses on Thursday, while Citigroup’s local employees are likely to be told on the same or following day. Goldman Sachs intends to tell its Australian employees on Friday, while Bank of America Merrill Lynch and JPMorgan are expected to inform staff in the week commencing January 20, the SMH reports.

Thai protest to target stock exchange

Anti-government protesters in Thailand say they will seize the stock exchange in a bid to oust Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from office and eliminate the influence of her brother, billionaire former leader Thaksin Shinawatra, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Thirdock in expansion mode

Singapore family office Thirdrock has secured a capital market services licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and is now buying ISSEA Advisory, a corporate finance boutique, reports Finance Asia.

The firm is also considering expanding to Hong Kong. It will be hiring more private bankers to help grow the business.

Club Fed’ no hardship

Felons convicted of commercial crimes used are often sent to prisons in the US described rather sarcastically as “Club Fed” for being an ‘easy’ punishment.

It’s no joke, it seems. James Fleishman, a former vice president at “expert network” Primary Global Research LLC, took to Reddit to describe his sojourn in a federal prison after being found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Business Insider reports that Fleishman, who was sentenced to 30 months but stayed on 14 months at a minimum security camp in Colorado, said the ‘worst’ part of his time inside was “not being able to be with my family….(not) wearing my own clothes, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, driving a car (or) surfing the Web.”

Chinese bank gets US nod to expand in California

The Federal Reserve will allow Hong Kong-based Wing Lung Bank to expand in California as Chinese lenders boost their US presence, says Bloomberg.

Last week eFinancialCareers reported that Chinese companies are hiring foreigners to represent them in their international endeavours.

Former Rabobank traders charged with yen Libor manipuation

Three former Rabobank traders were charged by the US with engaging in a five-year scheme to manipulate yen Libor in a conspiracy beginning in 2006. If found guilty they could face 30 years in prison.

Malaysia’s corruption challenge

According to a survey by leading audit firm KPMG, six out of 10 companies in Malaysia feel that corruption is an inevitable cost of doing business there, reports Channel News Asia.

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