Haitong International Securities cuts business with UBS

Haitong International Securities Group Ltd has cut ties with UBS Group AG, two people at Haitong told Reuters on Friday, following a comment about Chinese pigs by the Swiss bank’s global chief economist that was perceived by some as a racist slur.

Lin Yong, chief executive of Haitong International - the Hong Kong unit of Chinese brokerage Haitong Securities Co Ltd - announced the decision on his personal WeChat account, said a Haitong employee who saw the post.

The decision was also announced in an internal email circulated among Haitong International staff, a second Haitong employee told Reuters.

UBS issued an apology afterwards, saying “we apologize unreservedly for any misunderstanding caused by these innocently intended comments by Paul Donovan. We have removed the audio comment from circulation. To be clear, this comment was about inflation and Chinese consumer prices rising, which was driven by higher prices for pork,” it said in a statement emailed to Reuters.

“UBS takes this matter seriously. We are enhancing our internal processes to avoid any recurrence of a similar situation. We remain fully committed to investing in China.”

Source(s): Reuters