SYDNEY, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Nomura Holdings Inc (8604.T) has cut 18 Asian banking jobs, most of them China-focused investment roles, following a sharp slowdown in trading activity, according to two sources with knowledge. straight to the point. .

Japan’s top brokerage and investment bank last week laid off bankers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan, said the sources, who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

A separate source with knowledge of the matter said the cuts were not limited to Asia, but would also affect Nomura’s international investment banking operations in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The source did not provide further details.

In a statement, Nomura acknowledged the staff reductions, but did not comment on the locations or the number of people affected.

“2022 saw a material deterioration in global investment banking fee pools and as a result we had to reduce headcount in certain areas,” the statement said.

The layoffs involve staff from multiple divisions within Nomura’s investment banking function, after a year of muted trading activity in the region, one of the two sources said.

The bank, which has long struggled to expand its business outside of Japan, advised on $3.42 billion of equity market deals last year in Asia Pacific, including its Japan home base, a sharp drop. of $9.4 billion in 2021, according to Refinitiv data.

In each of the bank’s business divisions for equity capital markets, debt capital markets, corporate finance and Southeast Asia coverage, two or three workers were laid off, according to the two sources.

The cuts are “very China-focused” and affect about a quarter of its workforce in China, the second source said.

They include some bankers who cover Greater China’s equity capital markets, the sources said, and are likely to affect the bank’s ability to operate in that area of ​​investment banking.

Several global banks are cutting staff in Asia amid volatile global markets and slow deals with China, following a regulatory crackdown and three years of COVID-19-related lockdowns and restrictions that finally ended last month. .

Goldman Sachs (GS.N) last week laid off more than 3,000 people in its global workforce, with the investment banking and global markets division the hardest hit.

Nomura said in November that he was not happy with his latest earnings performance. Pretax income from his wholesale division, which houses his commercial and investment banking businesses, fell 19% year-on-year in the three months ending in September.

Reporting by Selena Li and Scott Murdoch; Edited by Sumeet Chatterjee, Tom Hogue, Kim Coghill, and Edmund Klamann

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scott murdoch

Thomson Reuters

Scott Murdoch has been a journalist for over two decades working for Thomson Reuters and News Corp in Australia. He has specialized in financial journalism for most of his career, covering Asian equity and debt capital markets and Australian M&A. It is based in Sydney.