While financial layoffs in Asia have yet to approach the massive numbers being seen in Europe and the U.S., the vulnerability of jobs there is increasingly apparent.
Chicago-based Citadel Investment Group and Japan's Nomura Holdings became the latest institutions reportedly planning staff cuts in Hong Kong as well as Japan.
Citadel will reduce its Hong Kong staff by about half, eliminating 25 positions there, according to the Chicago Tribune. A separate Dow Jones story says Citadel is also shutting its Asian principal trading business and closing its Tokyo office, which employed 12 people.
Just this past July, the firm had beefed up its Hong Kong office by hiring a six-member special-situations investment team from Merrill Lynch.
Another U.S.-based hedge fund, Ramius LLC, moved to close its 11-person Hong Kong office and shift its Asian trading functions to London, according to Dow Jones.
Meanwhile, Nomura is poised to eliminate positions in Hong Kong, Singapore and other Asian countries along with at least 100 jobs in Tokyo, Bloomberg News reports.
Most of the Tokyo layoffs involve former Lehman Brothers employees, the story says, citing unnamed sources. Nomura is acquiring various Lehman businesses in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Its chief executive said Nov. 19 that he wasn't planning significant job cuts and was increasing staff in New York. But last week the bank did an about-face, saying it will cut its London workforce by 1,000 positions, or 20 percent.