JPMorgan to shut Malaysia retail banking operations

KUALA LUMPUR Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:59am EST

KUALA LUMPUR Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. bank JPMorgan is closing its retail banking operations in Malaysia as part of a global strategy to focus that business in the home market, a bank spokesman said on Wednesday.

The move will not impact the bank's overall business or strategy in the Southeast Asian nation as it made up a small portion of its total operations, Chris Cockerill said.

"It (Malaysia) remains a very important market for us," said Cockerill. "We continue to invest in our treasury services operations, our global corporate bank activities as well as investment banking - for example, in our equity capital markets business, we are the No.2 foreign bank in the market."

It could not be immediately ascertained how many branches or customers JPMorgan's retail banking operations has in Malaysia.

JPMorgan's headcount in the country will continue to increase in order to support its growth, Cockerill added.

Malaysia's equity capital raising activity has been robust in 2012. Kuala Lumpur ranked fourth globally this year in terms of amounts raised from initial public offerings, bolstered by a flurry of offerings such as Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd , according to Thomson Reuters' investment banking scorecard.

JPMorgan has been involved in some of the deals.

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