Chua Hak Bin another prominent casualty of economic slowdown

Chua Hak Bin another prominent casualty of economic slowdown

Singapore - AN ongoing pullback in the regional banking industry has claimed another prominent casualty in Singapore as the weakness of the global economy and a slowdown in China continued to bite.

Well regarded economist Chua Hak Bin, who had been head of ASEAN economics at Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BoAML), was let go on March 15, sources told The Business Times. He had been at the bank since 2010.

Dr Chua's departure came amid a slew of reported job reductions across Asia for the bank, and occurred just over a week before the Singapore government is scheduled to unveil its 2016 Budget on March 24.

BoAML is said to have axed at least 15 senior bankers at its investment banking unit in Asia, including three managing directors and 12 directors, with most of the cuts in Hong Kong, according to a Bloomberg report on March 11.

Bellerina Yeo, a spokesman for BoAML, declined to comment. Attempts to reach Dr Chua were unsuccessful.

Foreign banks operating in Singapore have been paring their local operations in recent months, with banks such as Barclays, Standard Chartered and the Royal Bank of Scotland laying off staff here.

In March last year, another prominent economist, Song Seng Wun, was also let go by CIMB Group Holdings. Mr Song later rejoined CIMB as an economist for its private banking unit.

This article was first published on March 17, 2016.
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