3i shutters Hong Kong and Shanghai offices

As part of its global efficiency drive, the firm’s entire Chinese investment team will be based in Beijing.

3i will close its Hong Kong and Shanghai offices and relocate Chinese deal-makers to Beijing as part of the firm’s cost-cutting measures announced earlier this month.

Partners Anna Cheung, based in Hong Kong, and Albert Xu, based in Shanghai, have both agreed to relocate to Beijing where they will lead the office.

3i currently has eight investment professionals based in its three Chinese locations. Two team members will leave the firm while the remaining six will move to Beijing.

Earlier this month 3i announced plans to lay off 15 percent of its workforce as part of a “thorough review of the group’s resourcing needs” in reaction to worsening market conditions.

Chris Rowlands, managing partner for 3i in Asia, told PEO in November that Asian private equity’s relative lack of leverage means it is well positioned going into the financial crisis.

“Relative to Europe and the US it’s a much less-leveraged environment. It clearly is not detached; it is not isolated; it’s not immune. But it’s certainly sheltered,” he said.

3i’s shares have lost almost half of their value in the last month. JPMorgan Analyst Chris Brown this week urged the group to avoid making any new investments “no matter how tempting” and make some divestments.