The best Q2 job at Morgan Stanley and Bank of America in Asia

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The best Q2 job at Morgan Stanley and Bank of America in Asia

Equities traders at Morgan Stanley and Bank of America in Asia enjoyed a solid second quarter.

Overall net revenue for Asia at Morgan Stanley was up 11% year-on-year for Q2 to $1,781m, and up 26% for the first half to $4,150m. Equities revenues globally increased 8% “driven by high levels of client activity with particular strength in Asia”, according to the bank’s financial report.

It was a similar story at BoA, where Q2 equities revenue increased 33%, “driven by a stronger trading performance and increased client activity in derivatives and Asia”. The firm did not provide a regional earnings breakdown.

Goldman did split out its revenues. Asian revenues rose 26% to $1,953m for the second quarter, and jumped 36% to $4,119m for the first half. GS did not provide a reason for the performance. CEO David Solomon highlighted his firm’s new joint venture with ICBC, which received regulatory approval in May. “The JV will combine our expertise in asset management with ICBC’s extensive access to retail and institutional clients. The partnership is a testament to our longstanding relationship with ICBC and represents a significant opportunity for us to grow internationally,” he said.

At Citi, the largest US bank in Asia by a significant margin, Q2 Asian revenues fell 7% year-on-year to $3,808m. The decline was driven by a 9% drop in Asian revenues (to $2,243m) in Citi’s Institutional Clients Group, which houses units such as investment banking, markets, and private banking.

Unlike other US banks, Citi has a substantial consumer franchise in the region. Asian revenues in Global Consumer Banking declined 3%, as “strong investment revenues were more than offset by lower deposit spreads”. In April, Citi announced it was closing its consumer banking operations in 13 markets across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. However, CEO Jane Fraser, speaking at Citi’s results presentation this week, pointed out some bright spots for the unit in Asia. “Looking at international consumer overall, we are seeing good momentum in investment management with 15% growth in assets under management, primarily driven by Asia,” she said, adding that loan growth had also returned in Asia.

JP Morgan did not mention Asia in its results.

Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Email: smortlock@efinancialcareers.com or Telegram: @simonmortlock. You can also follow me on LinkedIn.

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