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Old 08-01-2015, 12:46 PM   #2866
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SINGAPORE: Standard Chartered said on Thursday (Jan 8) that it remains committed to the Singapore market, amid reports that it will close its institutional equities business and lay off 11 per cent of its staff in Malaysia.

The bank's closure of its institutional equities business will result in 200 job losses across Hong Kong, Indonesia, Korea, India and Singapore, said a bank spokesperson in Singapore, who declined to give a country-by-country breakdown of layoffs.

Standard Chartered employs around 7,400 people in Singapore, making it one of the biggest financial sector employers in the city-state.

"As a bank that has operated in Singapore for more than 150 years, Standard Chartered remains committed to Singapore and will continue to support the growth aspirations of our clients here," the bank spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia.

The spokesperson added the decision to close its institutional cash equities, equity research and Equities Capital Market (ECM) business with immediate effect does not impact its "core strategic aim of supporting the international trade, wealth and fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) needs" of corporate and affluent retail clients.

Reuters had earlier on Thursday reported Standard Chartered's plans to shut its loss-making equities business as part of a plan to reduce its cost base by about US$400 million.

"As part of the Bank’s execution of the refreshed strategy announced last year, the decision has been taken to exit globally the institutional cash equities, equity research and Equities Capital Market (ECM) business with immediate effect. A transition team will remain to manage the interim period," the spokesperson said.

Separately, reports in Malaysian media and Bloomberg said the UK bank planned to reduce its Malaysia headcount by 11 per cent. The job cuts will take place during the first quarter and affect staff in the retail-client business and brand and marketing, Bloomberg said, citing a memo seen by its reporters.

According to the bank's website, it has about 7,000 staff in Malaysia.
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