* Bank says complex legal, tax environment hurting business
* Operations in Argentina, Uruguay will be maintained
RIO DE JANEIRO Nov 13 Brokerage and investment bank Raymond James Financial Inc announced on Tuesday it was closing its equity research operations in Sao Paulo, Brazil, due to tax and regulatory hurdles.
A small number of employees who support Latin American sales and trading will also lose their jobs in New York and London, the St. Petersburg, Florida-based firm said in a statement.
Raymond James had eight analysts in Sao Paulo and four employees supporting Latin American trading and sales in New York and London, said a bank source, requesting anonymity.
"The firm has concluded that the costs, structural impediments, and complex legal, tax and regulatory environments are impeding sufficient return on invested capital," Raymond James said in a statement.
The firm added it will keep its affiliate operations in Argentina and Uruguay, in addition to global operations in the United States, Canada and Europe.
A spokeswoman for the bank in New York offered no additional comment.
On its website, Raymond James says its international subsidiaries and affiliates employ 47 analysts based outside the United States, who cover more than 400 companies.