BOCOM Securities the latest Chinese firm to poach from investment banks

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Despite the recent slump in China's stock markets, another Chinese security firm has signalled its intention to expand and is capitalising on the fall-out from global investment banks.

"We have a plans for expansion, both in Mainland China and in Hong Kong, and we are working on a concrete plan now," says Hong Hao, a Managing Director and the chief strategist of BOCOM International, the HK-registered investment banking and brokerage arm of Bank of Communications. So far this year, BOCOM has already managed to hire some bankers from bulge bracket investment banks in the region after a number cut back, he says.

Hong said this even as China's stock market slump goes into the third week. China has made a string of policy announcements in the past two weeks aimed at propping up the market, but with minimal effect so far.

Hong's remarks go against the wave of cutting in Hong Kong by many global bulge bracket banks in the first half of this year. Standard Chartered culled its equity business in early January, leading to about 200 job losses. Nomura, CIMBMacquarie, even Goldman Sachs all followed suit and cut at some point in the first few months.

Hong also stressed that BOCOM's expansion plan is a long-term one. "It won’t be affected by the recent market slump, " he adds.

Lin Yong, CEO of Haitong International - another expansionary Chinese securities firm - did the same earlier this year. He told Bloomberg back in January that "we’re interested in talking to almost all of the finance professionals available in the market"

Although China's stock market has seen its sharpest drop in the past three weeks in two decades' time, the aggregate amount of hike has still been impressive since the end of last year. As a result, many Chinese securities firms are expanding into Hong Kong and stepped up recruitment there in order to cope with the business growth.

Some of them used IPOs to raise capital to fund the expansion. Huatai Securities listed in early June and GF Securities in April. The latest one is Guolian Securities, which just listed yesterday.


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