Morgan Stanley cuts dozens of investment banking jobs in Asia-Pacific, sources say

HONG KONG (Reuters) –Morgan Stanley is cutting at least 50 investment banking jobs in Asia Pacific, three sources said, becoming the latest among global banks to scale back operations in the region mainly due to a slump in China markets.

The layoffs affect around 13% of the Wall Street bank’s Asia investment banking workforce of 400 in the region, according to one of the sources.

Bankers based in Hong Kong and mainland China are going to be affected the most, they said. All of the sources declined to be named as they were not authorised to speak to media.

A Morgan Stanley spokesperson declined to comment.

Bloomberg first reported the job cuts on Wednesday.

The cuts are one the largest to its China-focused investment banking team and follow similar measures by other banks also stung by decline in deal making activities in China amid a slowing economy.

In January, Bank of America laid off around 20 bankers in the region, following a flurry of investment bank downsizing by UBS, Citigroup and other boutique firms.

Morgan Stanley on Tuesday reported a first quarter profit of $2.02 per share, which was above analysts’ average estimate of $1.66, according to LSEG data.

The bank’s total revenue rose to $15.14 billion compared with $14.5 billion a year earlier. Investment banking revenue climbed 16% compared to the same time last year.

 

In the Asia-Pacific region, merger and acquisition advisory fees for the bank in the first quarter dropped 41.5% to $30.4 million, according to data compiled by LSEG.

The bank’s equity capital markets fees – including Japan – were worth $68.5 million for the first quarter, LSEG data showed, up 26.3% on the same quarter in 2023.

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