* Move was needed to manage the firm’s running cost
* Small number of staff were retained to help liquidators (Adds background)
SINGAPORE, Nov 30 (Reuters) - The Singapore arm of collapsed brokerage MF Global has laid off more than 80 staff, an executive from the provisional liquidator said on Wednesday.
The remarks came after liquidators in Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia were unable to sell the Asia Pacific business as a single concern, which proved to be increasingly complex.
The American firm filed for bankruptcy on Oct 31 after placing disastrous bets on European sovereign debt.
“The Provisional Liquidators are working hard to recover and account for all segregated monies due to customers. As Provisional Liquidators, we also need to tightly manage the Company’s running costs,” Bob Yap , head of transactions and restructuring at KPMG, said in an email statement.
“With regret, one of these measures to contain costs involves reducing the employee headcount at MF Global Singapore. We have therefore ceased the employment of over 80 individuals,” he added.
Yap said “a small group of employees” were still employed at the Singapore operations “to assist the provisional liquidators in the winding down of the business.”
He said last week that liquidators had been making significant progress to wind down the Singapore business and have now taken control of over $180 million out of the $309 million of customer money that was held with other financial institutions in Singapore and abroad.
There is also a further $177.9 million in MF Global Singapore customer money that is being held with third-party correspondent brokers, counterparties and clearing members, the liquidators said. (Reporting by David Fogarty, Rachel Armstrong and Cerelia Lim; Editing by Kim Coghill)