Asia finds reasons to be cheerful

Rob Hartley
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Investment banking revenues rose across the Asia-Pacific ex-Japan region over the first half of this year, but not every bank has been reaping the rewards.

The jump in investment banking revenue across the Asia-Pacific region this year is giving many banks a reason to be cheerful. After two relatively weak halves in 2013, revenues have come roaring back, filling coffers and stoking optimism across the board. But a closer look at this rising tide shows it is not lifting all boats.

Dealogic figures show total net revenues for investment banking in Asia-Pacific ex-Japan reached just over $5.1 billion in the first half of 2014. By comparison, the first half in 2013 totalled just $4.6 billion and the second half of 2013 was even lower, at slightly under $4.3 billion.

Most of the boost this year can be put down to a spike in equity capital markets activity, where net revenue was over $2 billion, substantially higher than in any of the previous four half-year periods. Net revenue from debt capital markets...