Published On: Fri, Feb 17th, 2012

Daiwa Capital Cut 10% of Employees in Hong Kong

Takashi Hibino Daiwa(Bloomberg) — Daiwa Securities Group Inc.’s Hong Kong unit cut 10 percent of its staff this week, helping take Japan’s second-largest brokerage a step closer to meeting its cost-cutting targets.

Daiwa Capital Markets Hong Kong Ltd. eliminated 60 of its 600 positions, Chief Operating Officer Terence Mackey said by telephone today. The cuts were across departments, he said.

The parent company said in January it will reduce 200 jobs overseas after posting a fourth straight quarterly loss on lower trading income and brokerage commissions. The Tokyo-based firm joins Nomura Holdings Inc. in seeking to trim employee expenses, reversing an expansion aimed at challenging Wall Street firms as Europe’s debt crisis roils markets.

Daiwa Securities posted a net loss of 21.6 billion yen ($275 million) for the three months ended Dec. 31, compared with a profit of 1.2 billion yen a year earlier. The firm ranked No. 30 in advising companies listing in Hong Kong last year, data complied by Bloomberg show.

Asian financial firms are curtailing costs as the contagion from Europe’s sovereign debt crisis, which has forced global rivals to announce more than 230,000 job cuts in the past year, spreads to the region. Japan’s biggest banks are also seeking ways to offset declining loan profitability as an export slump and stronger yen threaten an economic rebound at home.

Daiwa Chief Executive Officer Takashi Hibino, who took the post in April, is cutting jobs in Europe and Asia and trimming executive pay to cope with losses in those regions. The brokerage gets about 90 percent of its revenue from Japan, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

Shares of the Japanese brokerage climbed 2.3 percent to 309 yen at the 3 p.m. close of trading in Tokyo. The stock has rallied 29 percent this year after losing 43 percent in 2011.

Samsung Securities Co., South Korea’s largest brokerage by market value, also plans to cut staff at its 100-person Hong Kong unit by more than half, it said on Feb. 1.

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