Asia's banks face research unbundling trauma

New European rules are turning the world of sell-side research upside down. The impact will be felt equally hard in Asia, at a time when life is tough enough for banks.

The ground is starting to shift and buckle underneath investment bank research, months before a scheduled earthquake. On January 3, 2018, the bundling together of research and execution charges into commission rates will end in Europe with the coming into effect of Mifid II.

Although the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive will only apply to the European Union, strong tremors are already being felt in Asia.

“Mifid II is getting the entire world more focused on research payments,” says Damien Horth, head of Asia Pacific research at UBS. “For funds based in Europe, the operational complexity means that the path of least resistance is to...

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