Mirae Asset Securities Co. (037620), the brokerage affiliate of South Korea’s second-largest money manager, will eliminate half of its 38 jobs in Hong Kong after stock trading in the city fell.
The timing of the cuts is yet to be determined, Choi Jong Hyun, a Seoul-based spokesman for the firm, said in an e-mailed response to queries today. Average daily turnover by value on the Hong Kong exchange fell 23 percent last year to HK$53.9 billion ($6.9 billion), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Banks around the world reduced employment in equities last year as declining trading volume reduced revenue while the growth of automated stock and options transactions squeezed margins. Firms including Daiwa Securities Group Inc. (8601), Japan’s second-largest brokerage, and Samsung Securities Co. cut jobs in Hong Kong in 2012 after expanding in the region.
“Most banks and securities firms appear to have completed their downsizing last year, so it doesn’t seem like we’re seeing another trend of job cuts emerging,” Kenny Tang, general manager of AMTD Financial Planning Ltd., said by phone today. “If the stock market recovers, we may actually see some foreign securities firms expand in Hong Kong again.”
Mirae Asset Securities had about 1,880 employees in South Korea at the end of last year, and an undisclosed number in units abroad in countries such as Brazil, the U.S., the U.K. and Vietnam. Its Mirae Asset Global Investments Co. affiliate oversees about $49 billion of funds.
Shares in Mirae Asset Securities climbed 3.9 percent to 42,400 won in Seoul today, joining other South Korean brokerages in gains as lawmakers continued work on revising capital market rules.
The number of financial services job opportunities in Hong Kong fell 24 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, eFinancialCareers said today. That compares with a 20 percent drop in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a report based on postings on the recruitment website.
“The Hong Kong market is very much driven by the property market,” which the government is trying to cool, said Yoji Takeda, who oversees about $1.5 billion as head of Asian equities at RBC Investment Management (Asia) Ltd. “General interest of investors going forward is in developed markets. Hong Kong is a China-related market and driven by China interest.”
Global financial firms have announced more than 150,000 job cuts since the start of last year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, as they grapple with a weakened euro-area economy and increased pressure from regulators to raise more capital and trim compensation.
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