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China CITIC Bank International to expand investment banking ops

China CITICBank International Ltd. plans to aggressively expand its investmentbanking operations as it looks to transition away from commercial bankingtoward becoming a full-service investment bank, the Financial Times reported Sept. 29, citing "people close to thematter."

As part of the bank's plan, it will build up an M&Aadvisory team and an equity markets business in Hong Kong, the sources said.The lender will also seek to obtain new financial licenses in the city, such asthose for dealing in securities, publishing research on securities, corporatefinance advising and asset management.

China CITIC Bank International aims to reduce its relianceon net interest income from its commercial banking operations, while bolsteringfee income from investment banking, a source said. The bank did not respond tothe publication's request for comment.

The expansion of China CITIC Bank International's investmentbanking operations comes as global investment banks are cutting deal-makingpositions in the Asian region.

Goldman SachsGroup Inc. is cutting investment banking jobs in Asia by up to 30% asshareholders have called for better returns. The U.S. lender could lay off upto 90 investment bankers across the region, primarily in Hong Kong andSingapore, sources said.

Bank of AmericaCorp. is also reportedly looking to slash around 24 investment banking jobs in Asia,including roles in Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

China CITIC Bank International is an offshore subsidiary ofChina CITIC Bank Corp.Ltd.