StanChart decides to shut Asian loans trading unit

EMERGING markets-focused lender, Standard Chartered has shut its global loans trading unit, ending a unique experiment in Asia.

The roughly 10-person trading team with desks in New York, London and Singapore, was established in 2002 and led by global head of secondary trading Rafael Valbuena.

“We are rationalising the secondary loan trading business,” said a StanChart spokeswoman in an email.

She added the bank may move members from the trading team to the bank’s core loan syndication business.

StanChart’s loans trading team was unique in Asia Pacific for trading high-grade corporate loans in a region where most banks hold loans to maturity, and rarely trade them because of a cultural focus on client relationships.

It was not clear why StanChart decided to shut the unit, but the operation was not integrated with the bank’s traditional lending business and was considered non-core.