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CLSA cuts 90 jobs as demand weakens

CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets, the regional brokerage unit of Credit Agricole SA, has cut about 90 jobs as the deepening global downturn curbs demand for financial services, said Chief Executive Officer Jonathan Slone.

"Clearly the contraction in the marketplace needs to be accompanied by a decrease in capacity and we are trying to match both," Slone said yesterday in an e-mail to Bloomberg News. "We have adjusted staffing in other areas of the business where we have seen significant declines in the number of clients or assets under management."

The job cuts are CLSA's second set since it asked 500 senior bankers and executives in October to accept pay cuts of as much as 25 percent in 2009. That failed to avert eliminations as the downturn threatened to turn into the worst economic slump in seven decades, forcing banks and brokerages worldwide to cut more than 280,000 positions.

The latest cuts, which represent about 7 percent of CLSA's workforce, were mostly in the administrative, back-office and technology departments, Slone said. CLSA has added staff in the United States, China and Australia, where it's seeking more market share, and some of the firm's new businesses are still hiring, he said.

Yesterday's job reductions affected 14 of CLSA's 19 offices, said Simone Wheeler, a Hong Kong-based spokeswoman. The firm has 1,350 employees globally. The company also cut some jobs in November, said Wheeler.


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