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Credit Suisse expands support functions in Singapore

Credit Suisse is set to hire over 900 new people by 2007 to support its investment banking, asset management and wealth management businesses in Singapore.

The move marks the trend for investment banks to seek out cheaper alternatives to the traditional Asian financial centres such as Hong Kong and Tokyo. Merrill Lynch, Barclays, UBS, Citigroup and HSBC already house much of their Asian back offices in Singapore.

Emil Wolter, who manages $140 million of assets at London-based Polar Capital, told Bloomberg, "Singapore is cost effective because its population is well-educated and speaks English and infrastructure is very good and yet office rents remain incredibly cheap."

Paul Calello, chief executive officer at Credit Suisse, says that the bank's new facility has the capacity to accommodate 1,400 people, and that the initial 900 workers will be new hires and employees transferred from other offices, mainly from the US and Europe.

According to Bloomberg, Credit Suisse's chief information officer, Thomas Sanzone, says the bank is also considering adding "a handful more'' of back-office operations in Asia, Eastern Europe and in the Americas.

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