BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, Australia

CIMB launches investment banking operations in Australia

The launch follows its acquisition of RBS.

According to a release, CIMB Group launched its investment banking operations in Australia this week, following the completion of its acquisition of the Australian investment banking businesses of the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS).

“From our position at the heart of the Asian growth story, we view Australia as a key component of Asian financial integration,” said Dato’ Sri Nazir Razak, CIMB Group Chief Executive, after a launch party at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Sydney.

“We sense a lot of interest within Australia to build stronger ties with Asia and we want CIMB to play an important role in this process,” he added.

Australia is a new country for ASEAN-based CIMB Group, the largest Asia Pacific (ex Japan) based investment bank and the fifth largest universal banking group in ASEAN. Upon full completion of its acquisition of RBS’ Asia Pacific investment banking business at the end of 2012, CIMB Group will have operations in a total of 16 countries in Asia Pacific as well as equities sales teams in London and New York.

“We think there is a real appetite in Australia for an investment bank that has such a thorough understanding of the region that represents Australia’s future,” said Nick Rowe, Australia Country Head for CIMB.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for CIMB to take Australian clients into Asia and to bring its Asian clients into Australia, and this will clearly differentiate us from our competitors,” he added.

CIMB now has 145 employees in Sydney and Melbourne and will offer traditional investment banking advisory services, equity and capital market fund raising abilities, broking services and research. Australia and Hong Kong will be the Group’s two largest ex-ASEAN operations.

Business will be carried out through three main operating entities – CIMB Securities (Australia) Limited; CIMB Capital Markets (Australia) Limited and CIMB Corporate Finance (Australia) Limited.

“We are optimistic about our prospects in Australia, as the team has an excellent on-shore track record and now they are backed by a strong platform that will be focused on growing flows on investment and business between Australia and ASEAN, as well as the rest of Asia,” said Nazir.

CIMB Australia Country Head Nick Rowe has over 24 years of investment banking experience, and has been involved in some of Australia’s higher profile transactions, including SAB Miller’s acquisition of Fosters Group and Dai-ichi Life’s acquisition of a stake in Tower Australia.

Australia Chairman, Simon Perrott, has more than two decades of IB experience in the UK and Australia and has advised on several landmark deals for QR National and Woolworths, among others. Australia Head of Equities is Randolf Clinton, who has 27 years of experience in global equities markets in roles in Europe, Asia and Australia. Oscar Ludwigson, who is Head of Investment Banking, has worked in the former RBS business in Australia and overseas for the last decade.

In the photo: (L-R): Nick Rowe, Country Head, CIMB Australia, Dato' Sri Nazir Razak, Group Chief Executive, CIMB Group and Simon Perrott, Chairman, CIMB Australia at the launch in Sydney.

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