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SC Lowy hires Nasser to lead European high yield trading push

SC Lowy, the Hong Kong-based investment bank specialising in fixed income, has hired Hussein Nasser as head of European bond trading, with a remit to expand its high yield business.

By Dan Alderson, Victor Jimenez 02 Jun 2015

Nasser was previously a managing director and head of European corporate credit trading at Nomura in London, but left the bank in August last year. Before joining Nomura in 2008 he was a high yield trader at Lehman Brothers from 2005 and before that was at Dresdner Kleinwort.

SC Lowy already trades European loans, but wants to replicate its Asian model for bonds and take advantage of what it sees as a growing euro high yield market. The firm sees itself as stepping in to a gap left in bond trading by retreating bulge bracket investment banks.

“All investment banks, in principle, act as traders and market makers in the euro high yield market, but due to regulation and brain drain to the buy side, some are not doing it well and others are not doing it at all,” Nasser told GlobalCapital. “Here is an opportunity for a firm like ours, with a strong focus on research and risk taking, to fill in an important gap in the market.

” SC Lowy also sees European high yield as a growing market. “The euro high yield market is on course to reach another record issuance this year,” Nasser argued, “on the back of the trend of bank loan to bond refinancing and higher demand from investors.”

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Trader Hussein Nasser

He expects the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme to keep bond yields suppressed and capital inflows to high yield funds healthy.

His team, Nasser indicated, would focus on the lower rated reaches of high yield. “We’re not interested in double-Bs as they are yielding too little,” he explained. “Our targets are single-Bs and triple-Cs, because that is where the bid/offer of opinion is and where we can add real value using our market-leading research franchise.”

SC Lowy has 12 employees in London, and plans to hire at least six more in the next two years. As well as Hong Kong and London, it has offices in New York, Seoul and Sydney.

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