UBS to restructure Hong Kong corporate finance, China teams

UBS to restructure Hong Kong corporate finance, China teams

HONG KONG/SINGAPORE, Nov 14 (Reuters) - UBS AG is reorganising its Hong Kong-based corporate finance team and China-focused country bankers, which would result in about 20 junior bankers moving to other departments within the investment bank, an internal memo and sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.

The move comes as the Swiss bank seeks to recoup some of its lost market share in the Asia investment banking business, especially in equity capital market deals where it has taken a hit in the first nine months of 2016.

"Anticipating any potential shortfall, we are redeploying our CFG (corporate finance group) bankers tactically into sectors allowing them to share knowledge and develop best-practice execution capabilities," according to the internal memo by Sam Kendall head of Corporate Client Solutions (CCS), Asia Pacific, and Joseph Chee, Head of CCS, Asia.

UBS uses Corporate Client Solutions for its investment banking business.

"Sector capabilities will be further enhanced by redeploying our junior China coverage bankers into sector teams," the memo seen by Reuters showed. Two separate sources said around 20 bankers from the two teams are affected by the reorganisation.

A Singapore-based UBS spokeswoman declined to comment.

"They will move to sector teams such as the financial institutions group (FIG), all industries group (AIG), and the consumers products and retail group," one of the sources said.

The sources declined to be named because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

UBS has slipped to No. 8 position in Asia Pacific ex-Japan ECM deals in the first nine months of the year. It earned $92.3 million in fees, a 54 percent drop from year ago, according to Thomson Reuters/Freeman Consulting data. In M&A, UBS earned $88.3 million in fees in the first nine months, a 4.6 percent fall from year ago, and ranked No. 4, the data showed.

In Hong Kong initial public offerings (IPOs), UBS has suffered even more.

The Swiss bank has worked on $26.2 billion worth of Hong Kong IPOs over the past decade, although its presence in Hong Kong - currently the world's hottest market for new listings - is not as strong as elsewhere in the region, Thomson Reuters data showed. The Swiss firm is ranked 23rd among IPO underwriters by deal value in the city so far in 2016.

Hong Kong's securities regulator is also investigating UBS' role as sponsor of certain unnamed stock market listings in the city, with the intention to start unspecified action against the bank and some of its employees. (Editing by Jacqueline Wong)

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