Beating for Barings as profits halve

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The Independent Online
BARINGS, the London-based merchant bank, has laid off 108 staff in its Baring Securities broking division and taken a pounds 10m provision in the first half of 1992, writes Lisa Vaughan.

Yesterday, it said slow equities trading had halved the group's pre- tax profits to pounds 11.8m, from pounds 24.3m in the same period a year ago.

Peter Baring, the chairman, attributed the lower profits solely to Baring Securities, which was hit by the low level of share trading in equity markets, particularly in Japan, where Barings is active.

The brokerage business was one of the success stories of the late 1980s, and Barings plc has prided itself until now on its performance during the recession.

'The results are clearly not as good as we would wish but the problem is isolated in Baring Securities and we believe we have taken the right actions,' he said. July and August were also dull for equities markets and would affect second-half profits.

The redundancies - which include 67 people in London, 15 in Japan and 13 in Frankfurt - will reduce total staff numbers by 8 per cent to 1,260. The Frankfurt office will close.

Other changes include a reshuffle of Baring Securities' top executives and reduced Japanese equity warrant activity.