HONG KONG: UBS will cut up to 30 jobs in the major centres of Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo after combining its global markets and banking businesses, a person with knowledge of the matter said.
The job cuts at the Swiss bank started last week and were centred on both “front and back office” positions in the trading and investment banking divisions of the global bank, said the person, who declined to be named.
UBS said in September that it would combine its global markets and banking businesses in a move to pare back its management structure and revamp its flagging market share.
As part that move, the bank’s main equities unit will be merged with its smaller foreign exchange, rates and credit trading (FRC) operations to form a single ‘Global Markets’ securities and trading unit.
Ros Stephenson and Javier Oficialdegui were named global co-heads of the newly renamed Global Banking unit, overseeing global M&A, IPOs and capital markets activities.
The major Asian financial centres of Hong Kong and Singapore, which hold the majority of UBS Asian workforces, would be most impacted by the latest round of redundancies while positions were also cut in Sydney and Tokyo, the person said.
Most of the front line investment banking changes were limited to junior staff, he added.
UBS has 10,000 people employed in Asia and a bank spokesman declined to comment on the most recent round of job cuts.
Bloomberg reported earlier on Monday that UBS was cutting about 40 jobs in Asia Pacific. -Reuters
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BEIJING: China will remove business restrictions on foreign banks, brokerages and fund management firms, a cabinet meeting chaired by Premier Li Keqiang (pix) said on Wednesday, state television reported.
But the move, which comes nearly 18 years after China joined the World Trade Organization (WTO), could have limited impact on the competitive landscape of an industry dominated by China’s state firms.
China has stepped up efforts to open its financial sector amid a festering trade war with the United States, with increased access to its financial sector among a host of demands from Washington.
Last week, China announced a firm timetable for opening its futures, brokerage and mutual fund sectors fully to foreign investors next year, as Beijing and Washington reached a tentative deal to resolve their trade dispute.
The cabinet did not elaborate on what effect the removal of the curbs would have. On Tuesday, the cabinet relaxed management rules for foreign insurers and banks, giving them easier access to China, and wider business scope.
China will also support local governments’ efforts to attract more foreign investment and allow foreign companies to be more flexible in choosing how they borrow funds from abroad, the cabinet said.
China will not allow forced technology transfers by foreign firms, it said.
Stabilising foreign investment is part of Beijing’s policies to support the slowing economy that has been hit by the country’s trade war with the United States.
In 2007, HSBC Holdings, Standard Chartered Bank , Bank of East Asia and Citigroup became the first foreign banks allowed to set up locally-incorporated subsidiaries in China as Beijing gradually opened up the sector.
But hampered by numerous restrictions on business scopes and operations such as outlet openings, the roughly 40 foreign banks with local units operating in China account for a tiny fraction of a market dominated by state-owned rivals such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China .
“Many people say ‘the wolves are coming’, but my observation is that…through opening, Chinese regulators intend to introduce technology and talents, but it doesn’t mean foreign players can grab a big market share in China,” Xin He, Societe Generale’s China head of global markets told a financial conference over the weekend.
He added that the French bank has retreated from its retail business in China after realising that “foreign banks cannot compete with Chinese players in this business segment.”
In the securities sector, China last year relaxed rules to allow foreign brokerages to own a majority stake in Chinese ventures. China said last week foreign ownership limits in the sector will be scrapped completely on Dec. 1, 2020. UBS Group , JPMorgan Chase and Japan’s Nomura Holdings have obtained regulatory approval to set up majority-owned China ventures.
But China has yet to open more sensitive areas of its financial industry. U.S. payments card giants Mastercard Inc and Visa Inc are still awaiting regulatory approval to conduct yuan clearing business in the country.
China’s economic growth is expected to slow to a near 30-year low of 6.2% this year and cool further to 5.9% in 2020, a Reuters poll showed, even as Beijing steps up policy stimulus.
The government has been leaning heavily on fiscal stimulus to support the economy, including rolling out big tax cuts and increased spending on infrastructure investment.
Tax and fee cuts amounted to 1.5 trillion yuan ($211.32 billion) in the first eight months, which has helped ease the burden on firms, boost incomes and employment, with full-year reductions set to exceed 2 trillion yuan, the cabinet said.
The government will also support local governments facing fiscal difficulties to ensure wage payments, the cabinet said. – Reuters
KUALA LUMPUR: Bursa Malaysia ended on a firm note across the board, tracking the gains on regional bourses, amid optimism on the latest round of the US-China trade negotiation, said a dealer.
At 5pm, the benchmark FTSE Bursa Malaysia KLCI (FBM KLCI) rose 10.75 points to 1,567.59 from last Friday’s 1,556.84.
The index, which opened 5.81 points higher at 1,562.65, moved between 1,562.65 and 1,568.96 throughout the day.
Market breadth was positive as gainers led losers 487 to 367, with 407 counters unchanged, 737 untraded and 42 others suspended.
Turnover widened to 2.99 billion shares worth RM1.84 billion from 2.33 billion shares worth RM1.6 billion last Friday.
Regionally, Japan’s Nikkei improved 1.15% to 21,798.87, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index increased 0.81% to 26,578.41, while Singapore’s Straits Times Index rose 0.37% to 3,125.16.
A dealer said Bursa Malaysia’s equity stayed firm for the whole trading session tracking the gains on regional markets, lifted by positive market sentiment.
Equity markets worldwide were in the black since last Friday with much of the positive vibes stoked by the latest high-level trade talks between the US and China, while foreign investors took a breather from selling activities.
“The latest negotiations between the world’s two largest economies were ‘constructive’ with a truce in US-China year-long trade war last Friday with the US suspending a tariff escalation due this week on US$250 billion of Chinese exports set for US shores as part of a ‘phase one’ trade accord,” the dealer said.
Locally, the market saw active trading activities with the broader market shares and the lower liners firmed-up further, he said.
“The FBM Small Cap index has perked up which we see continuing over the near term. We also think that technology stocks will also make further headway as technology and construction stocks are seen as the major beneficiaries of the 2020 Budget,” he added.
Among heavyweights, Maybank rose nine sen to RM8.53, Public Bank gained eight sen to RM19.16, Petronas Chemicals increased five sen to RM7.28, IHH Healthcare rose 12 sen to RM5.77, while Tenaga slipped eight sen to RM13.82.
Of the most actives, NetX Holdings edged up half-a-sen to 2.5 sen, Green Packet’s warrant improved two sen to 31.5 sen, while Bumi Armada and I-Stone added three sen each to 41.5 sen and 22.5.
Debutant AME Elite rose 20 sen to RM1.50, but Sapura Energy eased half-a-sen to 26.5 sen.
The FBM Emas Index increased 73.20 points to 11,151.01, the FBMT 100 Index gained 72.55 points to 10,967.99 and the FBM Emas Shariah Index added 66.56 points to 11,782.93.
The FBM 70 rose 81.77 points to 14,025.74 and the FBM Ace advanced 30.07 points to 4,649.20.
Sector-wise, the Financial Services Index surged 143.59 points to 15,133.92, the Plantation Index was 59.34 points higher at 6,600.23, and the Industrial Products & Services Index was 0.45 of-a-point better at 150.88.
Main Market volume increased to 1.82 billion units worth RM1.61 billion from last Friday’s 1.44 billion units worth RM1.4 billion.
Warrants turnover narrowed to 359.01 million units worth RM61.99 million from 464.37 million units worth RM76.03 million previously.
Volume on the ACE Market widened to 816.07 million shares worth RM174.32 million from 427.27 million shares worth RM125.42 million last Friday.
Consumer products and services accounted for 188.14 million shares traded on the Main Market, industrial products and services (204.38 million), construction (205.39 million), technology (159.13 million), SPAC (nil), financial services (36.34 million), property (114.57 million), plantations (20.02 million), REITs (11.30 million), closed/fund (17,100), energy (595.76 million), healthcare (14.05 million), telecommunications and media (224.50 million), transportation and logistics (29.94 million), and utilities (13.36 million). — Bernama
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