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Schwab (SCHW) Decides to Close Singapore Office by 2019-End

Zacks Equity Research

The Charles Schwab Corporation SCHW has decided to wind up its office in Singapore by the end of 2019, per a Reuters report. The brokerage firm had set up its Singapore office just two years ago in November 2017 to provide greater access to investors in Singapore and Asia to the markets in the United States.

Per a source familiar with the matter, the Singapore office employed nearly half a dozen staff.

Notably, Schwab acquired a derivatives trading platform, optionsXpress, in 2011. And, its Singapore office was launched after the integration of and account migration from optionsXpress.

The company said in a statement, “Charles Schwab Singapore will cease to provide services and will close its office in Singapore. We will no longer open new accounts for prospective clients.”

Moreover, a spokeswoman for Schwab said that the Singapore office will no longer have the permission to hold client accounts and all its client funds will either be transferred to a new broker-dealer or will be liquidated and hence returned to clients.

However, the company did not mention whether this decision to close the Singapore office would result in job cuts.

The spokeswoman informed that the company aims to focus its resources, where it is able to serve clients in the most effective and efficient manner.

She further added that now Schwab plans to expand its business in Hong Kong, China, Latin America and Europe, including the U.K.

Notably, Schwab remains poised for growth supported by a diversified revenue stream. The company’s aggressive efforts to increase client base in advisory solutions remain impressive. Moreover, it has been focused on enhancing trading revenues by lowering its basic online equity and ETF trade commissions, and reducing fees for the Schwab market cap-weighted index mutual funds.

While the initiatives, which are aimed at building client base, will likely lead to improvement in trading income, the company’s bottom-line growth is expected to be hampered by continuously rising expenses.

Shares of Schwab have lost 9.9% over the past six months compared with a 4.8% decline recorded by the industry.

Currently, the stock carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks from the finance space are T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. TROW, Victory Capital Holdings, Inc. VCTR and AllianceBernstein Holding L.P. AB.

Over the past 60 days, T. Rowe Price’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for current-year earnings has been revised 3.6% upward. Its share price has increased 24.6% year to date. The stock currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Victory Capital has witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 3.7% for 2019 over the past 60 days. So far this year, the company’s share price has increased 65.6%. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

AllianceBernstein has witnessed an upward earnings estimate revision of 2.1% for 2019 over the past 60 days. Its share price has risen 6.4% so far this year. The stock currently carries a Zacks Rank of 2.

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