Credit Suisse replaces Morgan Stanley as No. 2 Asia prime broker

HONG KONG Tue May 21, 2013 3:54am EDT

HONG KONG May 21 (Reuters) - The Asian prime brokerage unit of Credit Suisse has replaced Morgan Stanley as the second largest firm servicing the region's $148 billion hedge funds industry, a survey showed.

The annual survey by industry tracker AsiaHedge, released this week, found that Goldman Sachs remains Asia's top prime broker with 179 clients and total assets under management of $24.6 billion.

Credit Suisse overtook Morgan Stanley by adding 14 new clients and $2.4 billion in assets over the last year, a first for any prime broker in Asia, the survey showed.

Prime brokers provide services such as clearing trades and lending money to hedge funds. The fiercely competitive industry is going through a rough patch in Asia, where raising capital is becoming more difficult and many funds are shutting down.

Most hedge funds do not disclose how they divide their business between prime brokers, making any survey a rough estimate. A hedge fund may, for example, have five prime brokers but give 90 percent of its business to just one or two of them.

In Hong Kong and China, the biggest hedge fund centres in the region, Credit Suisse emerged as the top player, replacing last year's leader Deutsche Bank AG.

Overall in the region, Deutsche Bank and UBS AG retained their No. 4 and No. 5 rank respectively, the survey showed, while Citigroup Inc replaced Bank of America Corp as No. 6 prime broker in the region.