Barclays taps HSBC's Martinez for oil and gas role

Jorge Martinez, HSBC's head of oil and gas for Asia, takes Asia-Pacific position at Barclays.

Barclays has hired Jorge Martinez, HSBC's head of oil and gas for Asia, to be its head of oil and gas for Asia-Pacific, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Martinez will join Barclays in the latter half of this year and is expected to be based in Hong Kong.

Barclays reshuffled its industry coverage about a year ago and the oil and gas coverage role was understood to have been vacant for some time. Marc Benton, the bank's former head of oil and gas investment banking, left in May last year and, shortly after that, Paul Early was named head of natural resources for Asia-Pacific, although Early's coverage is focused more on metals and mining.

Oil and gas has been a big part of Asia's M&A story in recent years but it has been in the doldrums so far this year, as Chinese oil and gas companies have stayed quiet on the deal front.

In 2012 and 2013 alone, China’s oil giants chalked up acquisitions worth $55 billion. However, the pace slowed last year as large Chinese state-owned oil and gas companies focused on improving efficiency and governance. Globally, oil companies are under pressure from shareholders to improve returns.

Asian firms on the lookout for acquisitions hoped the steep drop in oil prices would create new opportunities, but dealmakers say oil price volatility and senior management changes at China's national oil companies have taken the gas out of the sector's regional M&A activity. 

China's unwieldy state oil giants, several of which have been caught up in corruption probes of officials, have seen new management come aboard. State owned giants CNPC, Sinopec and Cnooc all appointed new chairmen in May.

Outbound oil and gas M&A for Asia ex-Japan has dropped to $2.9 billion so far this year, compared to $3.6 billion for the same period a year ago, according to data provider Dealogic.

Globally, mega deals have shown signs of resurgence with Shell agreeing to buy BG group for $70 billion in April, but deal flow involving Asian buyers has remained muted.

Spokesmen for Barclays and HSBC declined to comment.

¬ Haymarket Media Limited. All rights reserved.
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