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Morning Coffee: Why banks are firing, not hiring, in Singapore M&A

M&A recruitment slumps in Singapore

M&A: going slowly in Singapore

“Nobody’s hiring in M&A in Singapore right now – it’s quiet,” a headhunter in the city state told us yesterday. And for good reason – Southeast Asia targeted M&A volume totals US$31.6bn so far this year, down 19% from the same period last year, reports Finance Asia.

Things have been bad for a while. The first quarter saw a slump of nearly 20% in investment banking revenue in the region and that followed a weak 2014. It’s a far cry from 2012 when Southeast Asia was a hotbed for M&A.

This is all leading to a slump in junior to mid-level hiring at investment banks in Singapore, says the headhunter. And it’s also leading to senior departures – Reuters reported yesterday that Deutsche Bank’s head of Southeast Asia’s investment banking advisory and coverage, Parvati Banati, has left the firm.

UBS and Bank of America Merril Lynch have also laid off senior investment bankers in Singapore this year “as a result of a lack of business in Southeast Asia”, adds Reuters. And in the first quarter 15 bankers left Goldman Sachs in Singapore.


DBS hires veteran Iain Taylor as head of transaction banking. (Straits Times)

ICBC’s Zheng poised to lead Minsheng Bank. (Finance Asia)

Two Chinese financial firms gear up for multibillion-dollar IPOs in Hong Kong. (Wall Street Journal)

SFC fines BNP HK$15m for dark pool failures. (South China Morning Post)

Hang Seng Bank profit more than doubles. (Market Watch)

China bad debts weigh down Bank of East Asia profits. (South China Morning Post)

Angel investor was school dropout. (Straits Times)

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