Macquarie intends to exit its cash equities business in SA

Australian multinational financial services group Macquarie is not closing up shop in South Africa completely but intends to exit its cash equities business in the country, a reliable source told Fin24 on Wednesday.

Its cash equities business in SA is run by a subsidiary, Mazi Macquarie Securities, which was formed last year between black-owned consortium Mazi Capital and Macquarie Group.

The cash equities business relates to equity sales trading, equities research and compiling reports for institutional investors. The final decision about the exit move is still subject to review, but that is the intention, the source told Fin24. It is not yet clear how many jobs would be impacted locally.

The Macquarie services that will remain in SA would be programme trading and specialist sales. The advisory business in SA is also not impacted, according to the source.

According to a statement on Macquarie's global website, it says it has decided to focus its cash equities business on the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.

It said this is in response to structural changes in the broader market, which have led the group to undertake a strategic review of its cash equities business.

"Macquarie has continued to invest in APAC, building on over 25 years of local experience, access and market intelligence. The APAC Cash Equities business is part of an integrated markets platform, with leading global access to fixed income, foreign exchange and commodities capability," according to the statement.

It explains that repositioning the business is expected to lead to "a reduced domestic cash equities presence in Europe, the Middle East and Africa and the Americas".

Macquarie said it will, however, continue to service its global institutional clients and will retain an equity capital market offering in all regions alongside its global cross-border advisory platform.

Bloomberg reported earlier that Macquarie Group is cutting about 100 equity research and sales jobs in London and New York, according to people familiar with the situation.

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