Arab Today, arab today asian commodities still insulated from crisis
Last Updated : GMT 16:02:43
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Asian commodities still insulated from crisis

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Asian commodities still insulated from crisis

Singapore - Arabstoday

Asia\'s commodities business is still largely insulated from looming fears of yet another global financial crisis, although new projects might face difficulties in getting financing. All of the ten banks and oil trading houses contacted said it is business as usual in the market — from moving ahead with big-ticket infrastructure projects to maintaining the same credit requirements for derivatives trading and trade-finance. Hiring has also been going ahead, with some banks adding staff in Asia even as they cut in other regions. \"There\'s been little change in recent weeks, other than the usual seasonal factors,\" said Dominic Mound, general manager at Singapore-based international recruitment firm Commodity Appointments. Article continues below \"Taking the long view I would say that business is reasonable... all the turmoil has done is heighten the awareness of risk and the need to have competent people to manage that risk.\" The oil derivatives market, normally a sound gauge of sentiment, has yet to see any significant tightening of credit in direct bilateral trades or by clearing members of exchanges, while trade volumes remain at two-year high levels. Banks in the Asian trade-financing sector are still aggressively chasing business and dispensing loans, as they had been since the 2008 financial crisis ended. \"There is the usual chatter about the global situation, but no one has really done anything drastic, at least overtly anyway. It\'s just business-as-usual,\" a Singapore-based oil derivatives trader said. \"In the oil swaps market, for example, there has been no slowdown in activity, and no change to credit requirements, either between direct counterparties or through clearing houses.\" There had been some personnel cuts by at least three international banks since the start of the year, although none of the three are traditionally strong in the commodities business, either in Asia or globally. Japan\'s Nomura Bank shut its commodities desk earlier this year, while Credit Suisse has trimmed the size of its Asian team to a skeleton crew and Bank of America had also axed some Asian personnel as part of a larger global culling. Credit Suisse, the UK\'s Barclays Bank, UBS, and HSBC, all Europe-based banks, have cut several thousand jobs each globally, but their Asian offices have been spared the worst of the culling, with some still hiring. HSBC cut 30,000 jobs globally but is hiring 15,000 in Asia and Brazil, and UBS announced 5,000 redundancies across the world but is hiring 1,000 in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. What job cuts took place in Asian commodities were attributed more to an overcrowded marketplace. \"Those guys that shut or trimmed their businesses were never big players in the commodities market here,\" a Western investment banker said.  

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