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Barclays Shifts Asian Trading Back To Hong Kong


Barclays Capital is moving its Asian equity trading desk back to Hong Kong after just two years in Tokyo.

samurai.gifBarclays Capital is moving its Asian equity trading desk back to Hong Kong after just two years in Tokyo. The U.K. firm moved the desk to Japan in a bid to reduce operational costs and diversify its efforts out of a then faltering Hong Kong market (DW, 10/14/02). The firm is in the process of shifting about seven professionals, including Nicolas Cohen-Addad, director of non-Japan Asia equity derivatives trading who joined earlier this year from Crédit Lyonnais (DW, 5/30) will transfer Kurt Finkbeiner, director in equity derivatives in London, to Hong Kong next month to head the Asian equity derivatives group. Atsushi Goda, head of equity derivatives in Tokyo, and his team focusing on the Japanese market remain in Tokyo. Maeve Gallagher, spokeswoman in Hong Kong, confirmed the move.

The U.K. bank has made a recent push in equity-linked markets hiring Dixit Joshi, head of equity derivatives in London, last year and some 15 professionals globally in recent months. This coincides with the growing international interest in Hong Kong and mainland China. Last week the bank also received qualified foreign institutional investor status for China, which will allow it to trade Chinese 'A' shares and offer market-access derivative instruments. Joshi did not return calls.

The last couple of years have seen several of the large derivatives houses, including Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein (DW, 8/5/01) and more recently Goldman Sachs (DW, 4/25), centralize their trading operations in Tokyo. Bankers, however, did not see Barlcays' move as sparking a reversal in the trend.

Rival traders were surprised by the scale of Barclays' ambitions in Asia, given the large number of established players. However, "The market is tough here but there's certain segments they could be competitive in. For instance they've been making a big push on the retail structured products side in Europe and could reproduce that out here," said an equity head at a rival firm.

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