ING Baring Securities yesterday confirmed it would lay off 23 staff in Asia as part of 200 job cuts being made within the group's emerging markets equity operations. A spokesman for the group said the bulk of the jobs lost in Asia would come through the closure of three offices in India and Pakistan. The single Hong Kong staff-member dismissed is involved in the sale of India and Pakistan equities. ING Barings Asia spokesman Edward Naylor said: 'India and Pakistan did not come up to the mark in terms of profitability. 'Current market conditions are difficult and we are looking to focus on areas where we can provide the best possible service to clients.' Mr Naylor said ING Barings would offer coverage of India and Pakistan equities out of its Hong Kong office, but at a much reduced level. Outside Asia, the group is firing about 50 people in Latin America, 60 in New York, and 20 in London. Other companies to reduce staff in Asia since the onset of the region's financial crisis have included Indosuez WI Carr Securities, Schroder Securities Asia and HSBC James Capel. Mr Naylor said despite the cuts, ING Barings remained committed to the region. 'The ING Barings name in Asia is very strong and we will continue to build on that. We will be looking to strengthen our Asian equity business.'