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Asia market round up: Asia’s debt hiring spree

The usual post-bonus round of recruitment has generated a typical flurry of activity in Asia’s investment banking community. The one area that has been notably active is the debt capital markets business as banks reposition their businesses to reflect the exceptionally strong market conditions of 2006 and the start of this year.

"There’s been a lot of musical chairs in the DCM field," says the debt head at a US bank. "I think that’s going to continue as a lot of firms are going to replace people."

One of the key hirers has been Merrill Lynch. Since poaching Jon Pratt from Credit Suisse to head its Asia Pacific debt origination business last year, Merrill has hired an additional nine staff, including five additional heads from Pratt’s old team at Credit Suisse.

Bankers say that Credit Suisse has been a productive hunting ground for talent recently, possibly because of the recent management changes at the senior level. Other favoured sources are rumoured to be Citigroup and JPMorgan as well as Barclays Capital and ABN Amro, for obvious reasons, say insiders.

"There’s lots of résumés flying around right now," says one senior banker, "all the way from managing directors to analysts."

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