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Morning Coffee: No panicked layoffs yet at global banks in China

No panicked layoffs yet at foreign banks in China

Still safe in China?

Deutsche Bank is considering selling its 20% stake in Chinese brokerage Hua Xia, but mainland-based jobs at the German firm – and foreign banks in China in general – appear relatively safe from redundancies, despite the current stock market and currency turmoil in the country.

Quizzed at a conference this week as to whether the potential selling of Hua Xia would signal a wider reduction in Deutsche’s Chinese operations, co-CEO Juergen Fitschen said: “Of course we’re not pulling back from China. That’s going to be the biggest economy in the world.” Fitschen added that foreign banks were all in the process of selling minority stakes in Chinese financial firms.

A headhunter in Shanghai told us that he has heard of no plans for foreign banks to reduce their workforces, although recruitment in their investment banking divisions has slowed down in recent months. Chinese firms now dominate the league tables for mainland IBD revenue.

Investment banking doesn’t dominate the headcount of foreign banks in China, however. For example, aside from securities, Deutsche also has corporate banking, global transaction banking, and wealth management operations in China. And across the foreign banking sector, corporate banking relationship managers (RMs) are by far and away the most sought-after staff, according to PwC. RMs are also in demand wealth management. DBS is studying ways to expand in China, including partnerships with Chinese institutions to give it greater access to the market in both wealth management and corporate banking.

Meanwhile:

Why China’s stock market support measures are falling flat. (South China Morning Post)

And why China’s bond market presents a false sense of security. (Wall Street Journal)

Could the next fintech hub be…Malaysia? (Finance Asia)

UBS Chairman Weber says CEOs overhauling banks must be ‘brutal’. (Bloomberg)

Citi names new head of retail banking for Singapore. (Straits Times)

Barclays hires J.P. Morgan’s Duncan Hogg as Australian M&A head. (The Australian)



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