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Daily Dispatches – JPMorgan brings in the big guns

The Financial Times reports that JPMorgan Chase has hired a New York law firm to conduct an internal investigation into its hiring practices in Hong Kong as the bank struggles to understand the potential depth of the issue.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison was retained by the bank to respond to the Securities and Exchange Commission’s inquiry into the bank’s hiring of a son of a former Chinese banking regulator and daughter of a Chinese railway official.

The SEC inquiry is looking into whether the bank hired the children of state officials in order to win new business, which could violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Many banks and corporations hire children of US and foreign governments not for any quid pro quo but often because they are qualified candidates.

Asian rout

Markets in Asia fell again for the fifth day on worries about the US ending its easy money policy, Bloomberg reports.

Foreign investors yesterday sold a net $359 million of Thai stocks, the third-highest amount in a decade, according to stock exchange data compiled by Bloomberg. Thailand’s SET Index slumped 2% yesterday, its lowest close since June 24. It was little changed today. The Jakarta Composite Index fell 3.2% yesterday, extending to 20%a retreat from this year’s peak.

Everbright suspends head of prop trading

Bloomber reports that Yang Jianbo, who oversees trading of Everbright’s own money as head of global markets has been suspended. He was the only one of about 20 proprietary traders who was suspended after the strategic investment unit he ran made 23.4 billion yuan (US$3.82 billion) of erroneous buy orders.

US$500 million equity fund for Asia

Chinese investor Bruno Wu aims to raise a $500 million private-equity fund for media investments, focusing on companies targeting expansion in Asia, especially China, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Wu, who owns a string of media assets across the globe, says the new fund will tap both Chinese and international investors. The fund will invest in small- to medium-size Internet, digital media and e-commerce companies that “need China for the next wave of expansion”, he says.

Asian companies support flexible workplaces

The annual  Hays Salary Guide surveyed more than 1,200 employers on a range of issues including their attitude to workplace flexibility, and found that more than half across Asia offer some form of flexible work practices.

“Our research shows that most employers understand that offering flexible working arrangements is part of a modern workplace,” says Marc Burrage, Regional Director of Hays in Hong Kong.

Go to Daddy

The Wall Street Journal says a recent online survey in China shows that nearly 84% of respondents believe the young people around them would prefer to play a game of pin die rather than work hard. Meaning something like “powerful daddy,” the phrase refers to competing on the basis of family background. By that, they mean in terms of jobs – more than 80% said they believe many young people have relied on pin die to get ahead at work.

The survey was conducted by the Social Survey Centre of the China Youth Daily, a state-run newspaper, and web portal Sohu.com. The report said that among the 3,809 respondents, only about 10% of them said they value hard work in becoming successful. 

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