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Nov 27, 2008

Macquarie cuts 10-15 pct jobs across Asia

Macquarie Group Ltd, Australia's top investment bank, is cutting 10 to 15 percent of jobs in Asia, the latest in a wave of worldwide job cuts at banks hit by the financial crisis, two sources said on Thursday.

Macquarie spokeswoman Paula Hannaford in Sydney said the bank would not comment on market rumours, and spokesmen in Seoul and Hong Kong declined to comment.

When asked on Nov. 18 about possible job losses, Macquarie Chief Executive Nicholas Moore said there was no overall figure for job cuts across the group, which has 13,800 staff around the world. He said it was up to individual divisions to manage staff levels depending on market conditions.

"Each of the businesses will have their own plans," Moore said at the group's results briefing last week.

Macquarie cut 45 out of just over 300 staff in South Korea, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said.

Last week Citigroup (C.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) announced 52,000 job cuts, but Asia was left relatively unscathed.

Unlike its Wall Street rivals, Macquarie reported a first-half profit last week of A$604 million ($393 million), albeit down 43 percent on a year ago, dented by A$1.14 billion in gross asset writedowns.

In the April-September half, it slashed employee costs nearly in half, largely by cutting bonuses.


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