Chief Correspondent, Hong Kong
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Jan 21, 2012

Clash over strategy forced high-profile exits at Nomura

HONG KONG, Jan 21 (Reuters) – The shock waves that
jolted Nomura on Jan. 10 were not so much sparked by the
resignation of the Japanese bank’s wholesale division CEO Jesse
Bhattal, but the news, shortly afterwards, that Tarun Jotwani, a
close friend of Bhattal’s and a lieutenant being groomed to
succeed him, was also out.

Nomura announced it was splitting its fixed income
and equity divisions – a year after Bhattal and Jotwani, a
fellow Lehman Brothers alumnus had combined them. Jotwani’s role
as global markets head was eliminated, making him redundant.

Jan 20, 2012

Under Fu, Sinopec M&A machine overtakes Exxon, BP

HONG KONG, Jan 5 (Reuters) – “Chairman Fu” is stepping
on the gas at Sinopec’s M&A machine.

A $2.2 billion deal with U.S. oil and natural gas producer
Devon Energy Corp this week is the Chinese group’s 11th
deal since June and takes spending on acquisitions to $10.4
billion in that time, according to Thomson Reuters – more M&A
volume than Sinopec’s two Chinese rivals, Exxon-Mobil,
BP, Shell and Chevron combined.

Jan 13, 2012

Former Citadel Asia star eyes China for turnaround

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Senrigan Capital, among Asia’s relatively few $1 billion (651 million pounds) hedge funds and a firm run by former Citadel star trader Nick Taylor, is counting on a wave of China outbound deals to help fuel a performance turnaround in 2012.

British-born Taylor, who is one of only five or six managers in Asia to grow a fund to the $1 billion mark post-2008, told Reuters in an exclusive interview that his 2012 strategy would focus mainly on tracking mergers and acquisitions.

Jan 12, 2012

Insight: Foreign banks squeeze costs as Asia’s glow fades

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Big Wall Street and European banks are looking to slash budgets across Asia, as the emerging market promise is trumped by an urgent need to control costs.

From taxi and air fares and year-end parties to entire operational divisions and new country offices, little is sacred.

Jan 12, 2012

Foreign banks squeeze costs as Asia’s glow fades

HONG KONG, Jan 12 (Reuters) – Big Wall Street and
European banks are looking to slash budgets across Asia, as the
emerging market promise is trumped by an urgent need to control
costs.

From taxi and air fares and year-end parties to entire
operational divisions and new country offices, little is sacred.

Jan 10, 2012

Ex-Lehman’s Bhattal quits Nomura amid deep losses

TOKYO/HONG KONG (Reuters) – Jasjit Bhattal, the highest-ranking ex-Lehman executive at Nomura Holdings (8604.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), resigned on Tuesday after the wholesale division he led suffered heavy losses and forced the Japanese investment bank to scale back its global expansion.

The departure of Bhattal is the latest blow to Nomura’s ambitions to join the elite ranks of global investment banks following its acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ European and Asian operations after the storied Wall Street firm collapsed in 2008.

Jan 9, 2012

BofA prunes senior ranks in Asia investment banking: sources

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BAC.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), the second-largest U.S. bank by assets, is cutting around a fifth of its managing directors across its Asia investment banking division, sources said on Monday, in a bid to cut costs as the outlook sours in a once-booming region.

Foreign banks in Asia stepped up their cost cutting in the latter part of last year and are now moving up the experience chain to prune positions and units seen as too expensive in the current environment.

Jan 5, 2012

Asian banks battle for $7.5 billion RBS Aviation

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China Development Bank and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research) are slugging it out in the final days of an auction for Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research) aircraft leasing business in a deal that could fetch up to $7.5 billion (4.8 billion pounds), a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

RBS, 83 percent-owned by the British government, is shedding RBS Aviation Capital as part of efforts to pay back a 2008 bailout.

Jan 5, 2012

Asian banks battle for $7.5 billion RBS Aviation: source

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China Development Bank and Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group (8316.T: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) are slugging it out in the final days of an auction to buy Royal Bank of Scotland’s (RBS.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) aircraft leasing business in a deal that could fetch up to $7.5 billion, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Thursday.

RBS, 83 percent-owned by the British government, is shedding the RBS Aviation Capital business as part of its effort to sell off parts to pay back a 2008 bailout.

Jan 5, 2012

Dealtalk: Under Fu, Sinopec M&A machine overtakes Exxon, BP

HONG KONG (Reuters) – “Chairman Fu” is stepping on the gas at Sinopec’s M&A machine.

A $2.2 billion deal with U.S. oil and natural gas producer Devon Energy Corp (DVN.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) this week is the Chinese group’s 11th deal since June and takes spending on acquisitions to $10.4 billion in that time, according to Thomson Reuters – more M&A volume than Sinopec’s two Chinese rivals, Exxon-Mobil (XOM.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), Shell (RDSa.L: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Chevron (CVX.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) combined.

    • About Michael

      "In June 2009, Michael Flaherty became a Chief Correspondent for Reuters News, leading a team of journalists who cover investment banking, mergers & acquisitions, private equity and hedge funds, equity capital markets, natural resources and property across Asia. He arrived in Hong Kong in Feb. 2008 as Reuters' Asia Financial Services correspondent, covering the investment banks and M&A. Flaherty was hired by Reuters in New York in Dec. 2003. He was voted Reuters Journalist of the Year for his 2007 coverage of the U.S. private equity boom and bust. He started at Reuters with the consumer group covering office retailers ..."
      Joined Reuters:
      Dec. 1, 2003
      Awards:
      Peninsula Press Club, 2002, Reuters Journalist of the Year, 2007, M&A International, 2007
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