Deutsche Bank’s licence to sponsor Hong Kong IPOs suspended

Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) will be unable to sponsor initial public offerings (IPOs) in Hong Kong from July because it temporarily does not have sufficient licensed bankers, according to a person with direct knowledge of the matter.

Deutsche’s licence was suspended after two of its bankers who were the IPO principals left the bank, the source said, adding the licence should be renewed when those two people are replaced.

The person declined to be named as the information, first reported by the Financial Times, was not yet public.

The city’s regulator, the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), declined to comment on Deutsche’s licence being put on hold.

Deutsche had scaled down its equities business globally in 2019, but had kept a small equities capital market (ECM) presence in Asia, mainly in Singapore.

The bank hired some personnel lately in its ECM division, according to local media reports.

Deutsche did not feature in top 25 banks in the league tables for the first half in the Asia Pacific equity capital markets, according to Refinitiv data.

In Hong Kong, IPOs need at least one sponsoring bank, which typically takes the lead in running the IPO and collects a larger proportion of fees than banks listed only as bookrunners.

The SFC last week fined Deutsche HK$2.45 million ($316,000) for issuing incorrect statements to its prime brokerage clients for 12 years and delaying reporting the matter to the regulator.

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