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Daily Dispatches – Two Hong Kong firms pay steep fine for insider trading

Two Hong Kong asset management firms have agreed to pay US$10.9 million to settle charges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission of insider trading ahead of a bid by China’s CNOOC for Canadian oil company Nexen Inc.

Singapore’s Business Times reports that this adds to the the more than US$18 million the US securities regulator had previously secured in settlements as part of an investigation into suspicious trading linked to the July 2012 deal.

China Shenghai Investment Management Limited and eight clients have agreed to give up nearly US$4.27 million in profits from trading in Nexen stock. CITIC Securities International Investment Management (HK) Ltd has agreed to pay nearly US$6.6 million in penalties.

Asia I-banks hiring again

The Financial Times reports that investment banks are hiring again in Asia, taking on more junior staff as they hope that a wave of new bond and equity raising deals in January signals a turnaround ahead after three years of declining activity and fees.

RBS releases unplanned statement on £3 billion provision for legal costs

Royal Bank of Scotland is facing fresh concerns about its capital position after it was forced to set aside an extra £3 billion to cover the cost of litigation and compensation, highlighting how the state-backed bank is still haunted by pre-crisis transgressions, says the Financial Times.

The move is expected to drag RBS to a pre-tax loss of £7 billion-£8 billion for the full year and may mean the bank has to sell more assets to bolster its balance sheet. The bank said nine of its top executives would waive their bonuses for last year following the unplanned statement, which was rushed out ahead of its results announcement next month.

China’s mainstream banks battling competition from online rivals

China’s traditional banks are raising interest rates to claw back lost deposits as they lose out to internet financial institutions, reports People’s Daily Online.

Job vacancies rise in Singapore

The Business Times reports that the number of job openings in Singapore rose last year amid a tight labour market, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said in a statement on Monday.

There were 61,900 job vacancies in September 2013, a 9.7% increase from the 56,400 the year before.

JPMorgan stresses importance of Asia M&A to its revenues

Co-head of JPMorgan M&A Herman Cristerna told Finance Asia that the most strategic business globally is Asia in terms  of being relevant to the bank’s clients globally.

 

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