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One of Asia's top trading firms is shutting down a large chunk of its US business

Matt Turner
Mike Mayo

(Screenshot/Bloomberg)
CLSA Americas, the US arm of the Chinese-owned broker CLSA, is closing a big chunk of its business.

The firm is closing the research function in the US, according to a spokesman. Around 90 jobs in research and support will go as part of the change, while around 85 in other roles such as trading will not be affected.

The firm will continue to offer execution and trading services, including: sector trading, ADR trading, portfolio trading, electronic execution and commission management, according to a statement. In addition, Asia sales and Asia trading teams located in the US will not be impacted by the changes. 

Rick Gould, CEO of CLSA Americas said that the firm had always focused on providing US and global investors "differentiated insights on US stocks."

"While we succeeded in this regard, the economics of providing US equity research have become increasingly challenged," he said. "Our focus now is to continue to provide our clients access to liquidity and best execution.”

 

The US office was set up in 1986 and focused on serving US funds looking to invest in Asia.

In 2009, it started covering US equities too. Then, in 2013, Chinese banking giant CITIC Securities acquired CLSA, becoming the first Chinese brokerage to purchase a global financial institution, according to CLSA's website.

The firm has offices in New York, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, and San Francisco, according to its site. 

The firm had a number of well-known analysts in the US, including banks analyst Mike Mayo, a fixture on the finance TV circuit.

In November, Citic announced it would combine CITIC Securities International Company Limited (CSI) and CLSA Limited under the CLSA brand. It said then that the two were combining "as China’s unique, off-shore financial platform with unmatched capabilities and coverage across 25 cities in the Asia Pacific, Europe and the Americas."

UPDATE: This story has been updated to clarify that the closure applies to the US research business, and not the entire CLSA Americas operation. 

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