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HSBC lays off at least a dozen Asia dealmakers amid weaker activities, sources say

A logo of HSBC is displayed at a tram station outside its headquarters building in Hong Kong

HONG KONG (Reuters) -HSBC is laying off more than a dozen of its investment banking staff in Asia as dealmaking in the region slows, three people with knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Bankers in Hong Kong and Singapore will be affected as the lender cuts costs, two of the people said.

The cuts mainly affect associates and vice presidents, according one of the two people and a third source. All sources declined to be named as they are not authorised to speak to the media.

The Asia-focused bank is the latest to scale back its Asia dealmaking team as plunging markets in China and Hong Kong have weighed on the outlook for dealmaking. In January, Bank of America laid off around 20 bankers in the region.


"The size of our work force will fluctuate in any given year," a spokesperson for HSBC said in a statement, adding the investment banking division has delivered strong results during "a very challenging few years".

The spokesperson didn't comment on the number of jobs to be cut.

Europe's largest bank has been beefing up its senior banker line up in the last two years, with around six new hires from banking rivals in Asia.

Greg Guyett, chief executive for global banking and markets at HSBC, said during the bank's investment summit last week that he did not see evidence that Hong Kong's initial public offering market is picking up yet.

Once the hottest global fundraising market, Hong Kong's stock exchange slid to No.10 globally in the first quarter, with HK$4.7 billion ($600.28 million) raised by 12 companies in IPOs, a 30% drop year-on-year and the worst since 2009, according to data from Deloitte.

($1 = 7.8297 Hong Kong dollars)

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch in Sydney, Kane Wu and Selena Li in Hong Kong, Editing by Louise Heavens and Sharon Singleton)