Chief Correspondent, Hong Kong
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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.

Jan 5, 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.

Dec 12, 2011

Goldman’s Machin to retire from Asia post – memo

HONG KONG, Dec 12 (Reuters) – The Goldman Sachs Group
Inc banker who was co-head of the firm’s Asia investment
banking operation for six years is retiring, according to an
internal memo obtained by Reuters on Monday, the second senior
Asia banker to depart Goldman in the last month.

Mark Machin, whose most recent title was Asia-Pacific
ex-Japan vice chairman, is retiring from the firm after 20
years, the memo said. Machin spent the past few years based in
Beijing, where he was closely involved with the bank’s joint
venture Gao Hua Securities. Machin serves on the board of Gao
Hua.

Dec 9, 2011

As Europe retreats, pressure mounts on Hong Kong banks

HONG KONG, Dec 9 (Reuters) – Pressure is building on
Hong Kong banks to rein in lending and tuck away excess cash in
a move prompted in part by European lenders retreating from the
region as they deal with a debt crisis back home.

The implications are serious for the future earnings of
banks like Dah Sing Bank (2356.HK: Quote, Profile, Research) and Public Financial Holdings
(0626.HK: Quote, Profile, Research), and for Greater China corporates seeking credit lines
to keep operations running.

Dec 7, 2011

Former Lone Pine, Goldman execs plan $1 bln Asia hedge fund

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Former Lone Pine and Goldman Sachs (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) executives are aiming to raise $1 billion (640 million pounds) in an Asia-focused hedge fund, three sources said, hoping to break into a very small group of funds of that size in the region.

The plan indicates that more blockbuster fund launches in Asia could follow as investors, despite volatile markets, are willing to risk their money with managers who have track records.

    • 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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