Is this the new normal?

Investment banks in Asia have suffered from a steep fall in equity capital markets activity — and some fear the deals may not come back.

Asia’s investment banking industry has changed dramatically during the past four years. The ready supply of equity deals that once attracted banks from all around the world is now a shadow of what it once was. So far this year, equity deals have generated fewer fees for banks than advising on mergers and acquisitions, according to Dealogic.

That is quite a change. As recently as 2009, equity capital markets made up a whopping 69% of Asia’s investment banking wallet. During the bumper harvest of 2010, equity deals generated roughly $3 billion in fees, while this year Asia ECM is on target to earn around a third of that. Put simply,...

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