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KUALA LUMPUR, March 3, 2015:

After unveiling its worst quarter ever, largely due to the poor performance by its Indonesian unit, CIMB Group Holdings Bhd has slashed 15 jobs at its Singaporean unit.

A CIMB representative confirmed the layoffs involves its equities side of the business, largely involving institutional sales and to a lesser extent the research unit – in line with what group chief executive officer Tengku Datuk Zafrul Aziz said during last week’s quarter release that CIMB will continue to review its investment banking businesses to be in line with its 2018 goals.

Zafrul had said: “It is not an easy thing to do. I’m restructuring and recalibrating the investment banking business to reflect the new realities of investment banking.”

The banking group has been making several major moves to cut costs, firstly by calling of the merger with RHB Bank and Malaysia Building Society Bhd – which would have resulted in the world’s largest Islamic bank.

Zafrul had said: “We called it off because of the uncertain economic situations that we were quite concerned about that. We announced the intention for the merger in the first half of the year but economic situations in the second changed.”

Last month, CIMB reportedly slashed a total of 150 jobs across its Asian regions (namely Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and India) as well as pulling out its Australian unit which saw 103 jobs lost there.

“We are scaling back, not shutting down the operations within the investment banking business. We will however continue to maintain our top rankings across our franchise,” said Zafrul.

It is reported that the group’s move to slash jobs in Singapore, deemed one of its core markets, takes place against a tough equities backdrop with other big banks behaving similarly, notably Standard Chartered and Japan’s Nomura.

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