Macquarie Said to Plan Cutting About 30 Asia Equities Jobs

Updated on
  • Bank said to have begun telling staff of planned reductions
  • Hong Kong-based Jeffrey Chung said to be among those affected

Macquarie Group Ltd. is joining the ranks of investment banks trimming equities operations in Asia after a slump in trading volumes crimped industry revenues, a person with knowledge of the matter said.

The Sydney-based firm plans to cut about 30 jobs at its Asia equities unit and started informing staff about the move on Friday, said the person. The reductions will come in Hong Kong, Japan and India and represent about 8 percent of the division’s workforce, according to the person, who asked not to be identified.

Jeffrey Chung, the Hong Kong-based head of sales for Asia cash equities, is among those leaving, two people familiar said.

Investment banks including Nomura Holdings Inc. and BNP Paribas SA have scaled back parts of their Asian equities businesses this year to help weather the slump. Barclays Plc announced in January the closure of cash-equities businesses in seven Asian countries as part of a restructuring to focus on its most profitable businesses in the U.S. and the U.K.

Macquarie has hired 32 people in Asia since January, with 15 of them in Hong Kong and 10 in Japan, one of the people said.

Trebling Profit

The firm last month signaled a four-year profit streak may be drawing to an end. The infrastructure fund manager and investment bank, which has seen its annual profits almost treble since 2012, is now starting to face challenges from market conditions affecting its cyclical businesses such as trading and advisory.

The value of MSCI Asia-Pacific Index stocks traded slumped in May to the lowest since December and was about 18 percent lower from the same month last year, as investors fretted over the prospects for Chinese stocks amid slowing economic growth and a weakening yuan.

Macquarie had 3,599 employees in Asia as of March 31, representing a quarter of its total staff, compared with 3,524 a year earlier, according to filings.

Shares in the company dropped 2.3 percent to A$73.12 as of 11:10 a.m. in Sydney, taking losses for the year to 12 percent. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is up 0.2 percent this year.