"Investment banking networks in Asian financial centres" with Karen Lai

February 28 2019, 12:00 - 13:00



The 2008 global financial crisis has brought renewed academic attention on the key role of investment banks in shaping financial flows, shifting industry standards, channeling transactions and connecting key actors in global capital markets. Rather than viewing them only as highly globalised financial institutions, the spatial dimensions of such global financial networks are crucial for understanding the roles and impacts of investment banks, especially the ways in which local and regional geographies shape their business activities, practices and relationships to form distinctive ecologies in various financial centres. This presentation focuses on the power of investment banks in three key economies in Asia – Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. By analysing the industry networks of investment banks in equity capital market (ECM) activities, results show that even though bulge-bracket banks occupy core positions in all three locations, their dominance is being challenged by emerging Asian investment banks. The ECM networks of investment banks are strongly shaped by development trajectory and regional contexts of specific international financial centres (IFCs), which reveals the differentiated nature of finance across Asia. Results also highlight the need for further research on networks within financial centres in addition to inter-city networks to understand the roles and development of IFCs.

Karen P. Y. Lai is an an economic geographer with research expertise on financial geography. She is currently Assistant Professor at the Department of Geography, National University of Singapore (NUS). Her research interests include geographies of money and finance, global cities, service sectors and market formation, focusing particularly on issues of financialisation, knowledge networks, and economic development in Asia. Prof. Lai is on the Standing Committee of the Global Production Networks Centre at NUS (GPN@NUS), Executive Committee of the Global Network on Financial Geography (FinGeo), and Steering Committee of the Global Urban Studies Research Cluster at NUS.


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Time & Date

Start: February 28 2019, 12:00*

Duration: 60 minutes

*Time is displayed in your local time zone (Africa/Abidjan).

External Presenter

Karen Lai

National University of Singapore

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Topic: "Investment banking networks in Asian financial centres" with Karen Lai

Time: February 28 2019, 12:00 (Timezone: Africa/Abidjan)

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  • Urban and Regional Economics
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Igor Tupy

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