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Maybank shuts Hong Kong, China institutional research desks

[HONG KONG] Malayan Banking Bhd, Malaysia's biggest lender, is closing its Hong Kong and China institutional equity research business to focus on South-east Asian operations.

Maybank Kim Eng, the investment banking arm of Maybank, said 13 positions in Hong Kong were affected by the move. The firm will continue to provide execution and trading services for institutional clients in the city, it said in an emailed statement on Friday.

New European regulations requiring securities firms to separate research fees from trading commissions have shaken up the industry globally. Smaller brokerages are struggling to compete as budget-conscious investors pick which firms to buy analysis from under the rules, known as MiFID II.

Seven to eight Hong Kong-based research jobs were cut, people with knowledge of the matter said. The changes were announced internally on Thursday, according to the people. The firm said it is assisting affected personnel.

Maybank Kim Eng "is committed to continue providing its Asean research, corporate access, trading and execution services to global clients," it said in the statement. Kuala Lumpur-based Maybank unveiled its ambition to become a leading bank in South-east Asia by 2020 three years ago.


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