Thursday’s Headlines: European banks slash headcount

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It is a global economy, after all. As U.S. banks plan to slash headcount, their European counterparts are planning the same, DealBook reports.

France’s Société Générale announced plans for 880 voluntary departures in its domestic investment banking business starting in April, and an additional 700 layoffs are expected in the bank’s international investment banking operations, including in New York and London. RBS hired Lazard to find a new owner for its struggling equities business after announcing plans to cut employees in its investment banking unit, as well as eliminate 2,000 positions in its global banking and markets unit within the next 18 months.

These follow recent announcements for layoffs at Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas, Credit Suisse and UBS.  The story explains:

The layoffs in Europe’s banking sector come as financial firms look to rein in costs and increase capital buffers to meet tough new regulatory requirements by June. Banks have also been buffeted by the European sovereign debt crisis, which has wiped out billions of euros’ worth of shareholder value. The Euro STOXX banks index, made up of the largest banks in the euro zone region, has fallen 42 percent in the last year.


Other News:

The Asian hedge fund industry is facing contraction. [Businessweek]

Milwaukee-based Artisan Partners LP was named Morningstar’s 2011 domestic stock manager of the year. [Businessweek]

Blackstone raised more than $16 billion for its latest fund -- the sixth largest private equity fund ever. [Reuters]

Carlyle raised $2.34 billion for a real estate fund focused on NYC, DC and the West Coast. [WSJ]

John Foo, who once managed the FrontPoint Asian Event Driven Fund, is planning a $50 million Asia-focused hedge fund based in Singapore. [Reuters]

Private equity firms continue to scoop up indie broker-dealers. [Investment News]

HSBC nears the close of the sale of its South Korean retail bank to the KDB Financial Group. [Financial Times]

Standard Chartered plans to return to Myanmar once the U.S. and Britain end sanctions against the country this year. [Bloomberg]

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce was the top M&A banker in the country last year, replacing Goldman Sachs. [Bloomberg]

China Development Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial of Japan, are bidding for RBS’s aircraft leasing business which could go for $7.5 billion. [Reuters]

European Union bank regulators will focus on tougher rules for capital, bonuses and liquidity this year. [Bloomberg]

Citigroup’s star analyst Mark Mahaney attracts tech IPOs like Zillow. [WSJ]

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