CIMB joins Goldman in slashing Singapore jobs

March 4, 20151:18 pm445 views
CIMB joins Goldman in slashing Singapore jobs
CIMB joins Goldman in slashing Singapore jobs

More layoffs are on the cards.

The week began with the news that Goldman Sachs had shed 15 investment banking jobs in Singapore since early January. Now media is reporting that CIMB has also cut 15 roles from its equities business in Singapore, mainly institutional sales positions and a few research jobs.

On Friday we predicted that more cuts were on the cards at CIMB. The 50 Hong Kong-focused redundancies that it had announced at the time seemed too few to meet its target of reducing investment banking costs by 30%.

Unfortunately, we are still hearing from headhunters that CIMB is looking to make more IBD layoffs in Singapore and Hong Kong this year. And comments from CIMB’s newly appointed group chief executive Tengku Zafrul Aziz yesterday were hardly reassuring. “It is not an easy thing to do. I’m restructuring and recalibrating the investment banking business to reflect the new realities of investment banking,” he told the Business Times. “We are scaling back, not shutting down the operations within the investment banking business.”

The redundancies in Singapore come as the value of equity deals in Southeast Asia fell to $24.1bn in 2014, from $36.6bn a year earlier. CIMB has also suffered a big fall in profits. The CIMB job losses add to the already tough labour market for equities-related professionals across Asia.

Recruiters in Singapore do not expect CIMB to be doing much hiring in any of its departments in Singapore this year, other than to replace staff who leave. “Hiring in large numbers in Singapore is becoming more expensive for Malaysian banks because the ringgit has fallen against the Singapore dollar,” a recruiter in Singapore, who asked not to be named because of client confidentiality, told us.


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