According to a survey of buy-side equity traders conducted by AsianInvestor, Citi is best at finding liquidity in Asia-Pacific’s challenged markets, with CLSA and Credit Suisse taking silver and bronze, respectively.

Buy-side dealers voted ‘finding liquidity’ and ‘trustworthiness’ the two most important factors when working with a sell-side counterpart. This is the same as in last year’s survey.

The difference this year is that ‘algorithms/DMA’ scored third, whereas last year the prized factor was ‘high-touch service’. Year-on-year average daily volumes across Asia-Pacific are down by 10% in 2012, and the lack of commission and turnover has driven more fund managers to adopt low-touch electronic execution.

Access to liquidity was especially important to long-only investors, while for hedge funds the key was corporate access, with liquidity voted second.

Indications of interest have sparked controversy this year. However, buy-side participants ranked this bottom of the most important factors for a counterparty.

That said, Citi, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse were considered best at providing IoIs.

When it comes to trustworthiness, the hedge-fund vote for Credit Suisse propelled the firm to the top. Among long-only funds, CLSA was voted most trustworthy.

However, Morgan Stanley and UBS were voted the firms with the most reliable commitment to the business, important wins given the number of sell-side closures and team reductions this year.

CICC was voted the new entrant with the most sustainable business model.

The survey was conducted over the course of September with 74 respondents globally. The full results are available in the October edition of AsianInvestor magazine.