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Morning Coffee: An emerging boom for Hong Kong bankers?

The emerging ECM boom keeping Hong Kong bankers busy

ECM emerging?

Some financial professionals in Hong Kong have managed to capitalise on China’s stock market rout – cash management and wealth management folks have been kept busy in the city. But there has been little to cheer about for investment bankers over the past few months.

Now, however, there are hints of an upturn for equity capital markets (ECM) bankers as the fourth quarter looks set to be a positive one for large initial public offerings (IPOs) in Hong Kong.

Last week China Huarong Asset Management and China Reinsurance started pitching Hong Kong IPOs worth up to a combined US$5bn, a sign, according to Reuters, of improving confidence in market conditions after recent turbulence. “I wouldn’t view it as a bull signal for the economy or for the stock market, but they must be confident enough to reach this phase, which is positive,” a Hong Kong ECM banker told the newswire.

Similarly, CNBC points to the strong listing debuts of Chinese companies IMAX China and Regina Miracle late last week as evidence that after a “painful third quarter brought about by the depreciation of the renminbi and a rout in Chinese shares, investors in Hong Kong may have reason to cheer once more”. Most of the experts contacted by CNBC expect this “IPO momentum” in Hong Kong to continue.

Does this mean Hong Kong investment banks will be rushing to recruit in ECM? No, says one headhunter we spoke with – the uptick is too nascent. But as global banks continue to review their costs structures, ECM jobs in Hong Kong may be looking more secure than they were just a few months ago.

Meanwhile:

Senior Singapore staff won’t escape job cuts at Standard Chartered. (Business Times)

Credit Suisse to cut global costs to free up resources to hire in Asia. (Bloomberg)

DBS takes on fintech start-ups. (Straits Times)

Beijing can claim credit for halting the decline of Chinese stocks, but not much else. (Wall Street Journal)

US chases Swiss bank secrets to Singapore. (Bloomberg)

You can now fly to more Chinese cities you’ve never heard of. (South China Morning Post)


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