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Dec 15, 2008

Credit Suisse Said to Cut at Least 30 Jobs in Japan

Credit Suisse Group AG, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, is cutting its investment- banking workforce in Japan in half and closing some local operations, two people familiar with the matter said.

Credit Suisse Securities (Japan) Ltd. eliminated at least 30 jobs in the country last week and is shutting its securitization business and paring back leveraged finance operations, the people said, declining to be identified as no announcement has been made.

The company joins overseas financial firms including Morgan Stanley and Citigroup Inc. in reducing headcount in Japan, as the global financial crisis spreads into Asia. Zurich-based Credit Suisse said Dec. 4 it is eliminating 11 percent of its global workforce, or 5,300 jobs, and scrapping executives’ bonuses after reporting 5.2 billion francs ($4.4 billion) in losses this year.

“Brokerages are increasingly withdrawing from businesses that drain their balance sheets and focusing on fee businesses, like merger advisory,” said Wataru Kasatani, a senior research analyst at Meiji Dresdner Asset Management Co. in Tokyo, which manages about $2.5 billion in Japanese equities. “More job cuts will come in the financial industries.”

Credit Suisse has posted about $13.7 billion in losses and writedowns tied to the global credit crisis, the sixth-highest amount among European banks, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Japan Loss Doubles

The bank’s Japanese business lost 7.3 billion yen ($81 million) in the year that ended March 31, more than double the year-earlier shortfall, according to a regulatory statement.

“Credit Suisse remains committed to the investment-banking business in Japan,” said Isamu Kajino, a Tokyo-based spokesman for the Swiss bank, declining to confirm or deny any job cuts.

The company aims to expand its mergers and acquisitions advisory and equity capital market businesses in Japan, one of the people said.

“The need for investment-banking businesses is still there,” Kasatani said. “Japanese companies are trying to buy overseas assets, making the most of the strong yen and falling prices.”

Credit Suisse declined 2.6 percent to 28.72 francs in Zurich trading yesterday and is down 58 percent this year.

Morgan Stanley cut as many as 65 jobs in its securitization division in Japan earlier this year, two people with knowledge of the matter said at the time. The unit buys mortgages and packages them into tradable securities. Merrill Lynch & Co. closed its local real-estate financing unit in February, eliminating 11 jobs.

Citigroup, the U.S. bank that’s cutting 52,000 jobs worldwide, will eliminate about 1,000 positions at its retail brokerage unit in Japan, two company officials said Dec. 10, declining to be identified.

Credit Suisse is the ninth-ranked adviser on Japanese mergers and acquisitions so far this year with 11 deals worth a combined $10.2 billion, including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc.’s acquisition of UnionBanCal Corp., according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The bank ranked 17th last year.

Source : Bloomberg
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