EMERGING markets (EMs) are fast losing their shine for the world's biggest investment banks. Faced with falling fees from fewer deals - and bleak prospects ahead - many have put the brakes on a decade-long expansion, with some cutting jobs and shutting offices.
Subdued deal activity has meant there are fewer dollars for banks to fight over: fees in the first quarter were 18 per cent down on a year earlier at just under US$3 billion, according to data compiled by Thomson Reuters and Freeman Consulting. It's the second-worst start to any year since the crisis - after 2012.
But unlike in 2012, when activity quickly snapped back after a poor start to the year, bankers fear activity will remain...