Japanese investment bank Nomura announced yesterday it has hired Wendy Liu from RBS as its new head of China equity research, based in Hong Kong.

Liu joined as a managing director on May 11. The move comes after Henry Wu was transferred in the middle of last year to become director of research within Nomura Asset Management’s Shanghai office. Wu was promoted to chief representative officer last month.

In the interim, the China research post was covered by Michael Kurtz, chief Asia equity strategist. Kurtz was also promoted as of March this year to global head of equity strategy, based in Hong Kong. He retains his Asia title and replaces Ian Scott, who left.

Significantly, this was the first time this global role has been based in the region, with Scott having worked out of London.

In her new role, Liu is responsible for managing Nomura’s China equity research product and writing its China strategy research. She reports to Stewart Callaghan, head of equity research for Asia ex-Japan, and Zhizhong Yang, chairman and CEO for the China region.

Nomura now has over 20 analysts covering 220 stocks across 14 sectors in China. It notes China stocks offer a PER value on a par with their levels of last December, while at 12.4% expected nominal GDP growth China has the region’s second-strongest platform for corporate earnings.

It argues the prospect of a cyclical upswing, better supported by policy, should arrest the earnings consensus downgrades underway since fiscal 2011 results and refocus investors on growth.

Previously Liu was MD and head of China research at RBS. A spokesman for RBS confirms Liu left a month ago and has not been replaced. It comes after RBS agreed on April 2 to sell certain businesses to CIMB, including cash equities.

RBS's intention is to focus on debt financing, risk management and transaction services in the 11 countries it operates in regionally, as well as globally.

By contrast, Nomura has noticeably been striving to build its equity product in Asia ex-Japan in recent times. It launched an equities business in Malaysia in 2010 and in Indonesia last year.

Among senior hires, it brought in Kurtz as chief Asia equity strategist last October and David Radclyffe as MD and head of resources research for Australia, based in Sydney, last September. In total Nomura covers 1,100 stocks in Asia-Pacific including Japan.