Goldman Sachs is cutting nearly 30 per cent of its 300 investment banking jobs in Asia, outside of Japan, as a result of the slowdown in activity in the region. The Wall Street bank is reducing the number of bankers working on mergers and acquisitions (M&A), and equity and debt capital markets deals. The majority of the job cuts are likely to take place where Goldman’s main Asian offices are located in Hong Kong, Singapore and China.
The overall value of M&A deals across the Asia-Pacific region has dropped to $572.9 billion so far this year, from $745.7 billion in the same period of 2015. Goldman said in July that it had embarked on a cost-cutting plan that would save $700 million a year in response to a “challenging backdrop” for revenue. It still tops the Asia-Pacific M&A league tables but in the first half of the year it came third after JP Morgan and Citi as the biggest bank by revenue in Asia. In 2015, Goldman reduced the number of its investment bankers in Singapore to around 35 from 50. Goldman employs just over 100 bankers in China, where it was one of the first foreign investment banks to start operations. However, like other banks, it has been hit by a drop in Chinese trading volumes and competition from local banks.