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.
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.