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Morning Coffee: Rise of the Greater China banking career

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Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect has already created equities trading jobs in Hong Kong (although not enough to offset job cuts in that sector) and a similar scheme is in the cards to link Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

Now bond traders may be set to reap the benefits of the increasing integration of the Hong Kong and mainland financial markets. China is considering allowing international investors to buy bonds and exchange-traded funds through the link between the Hong Kong and Shanghai bourses, reports Bloomberg. Including fixed income would give Hong Kong-based fund managers greater access to China’s 1.32 trillion yuan of exchange-traded bonds.

This potential development for bond traders is another example of what headhunters in Hong Kong have been telling us of late – career success in Hong Kong’s finance sector is (for most people) increasingly linked to how well you know the mainland market. “Greater China jobs are becoming more and more common,” a Hong Kong headhunter told us earlier this week.

This trend extends to the senior ranks of investment banks, who have recently stepped up their hiring of Hong Kong-based China-coverage bankers with ties to Chinese state enterprises and acquisition-hungry private companies.

And, significantly, it also extend to Goldman Sachs. The US bank has promoted Stephen Wong to chairman of investment banking in Hong Kong, reports Finance Asia. As well as landing the bank a string of major China deals, Wong has helped integrate Goldman’s Hong Kong and mainland businesses and his promotion is partly in recognition of this. The firm’s equity capital markets team is now “fully integrated” and its bankers can offer “even-handed” advice on which stock market to invest in, according to Finance Asia.

Meanwhile:

Around 70 finance professionals in Hong Kong have taken out an advert in the Wall Street Journal, calling on China to respect the city’s autonomy and introduce free elections. (Channel News Asia)

It’s still safe to work for an Australian bank. (Sydney Morning Herald)

RBS is moving 60 back-office jobs to India from the UK. (Bloomberg)

The Singapore Exchange plans a big increase in technology spending party due to a new trading system for derivatives. (Asia One)

How Citigroup revived its FICC business. (Financial News)

Strong profits reported at Chinese brokerages. (South China Morning Post)

Singapore proposes changing its banking law. (Out Law)

Standard Chartered names new CEO for the Philippines. (ABS CBN)

GIC makes major investment in Indian banks. (Reuters)

The key HR challenges facing the banking sector in London. (Forbes)


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