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Daily Dispatches – Singapore curbs on foreign hiring takes its toll

Corporate Downsizing

The government’s ongoing effort to moderate the growth of the foreign worker population has forced some companies in Singapore to scale back their businesses, reports Singapore’s Business Times.

About 15% in a recent poll by the Singapore Business Federation (the SBF) reported downsizing their companies in 2013, while 11% said they ended up moving their operations out of Singapore to cheaper locations.

The SBF survey found that one in two companies said they had recruited more locals, while a similar proportion said they sent their workers for upskilling and put in place measures to improve their productivity.

About 19% of the 1,014 firms polled said they had made use of outsourcing or shared services in order to cope with the reduced foreign manpower.

China’s move to financial liberalisation seen as a boost to foreign banks

The South China Morning Post reports that foreign banks on the mainland see the ongoing interest rate liberalisation and a possible opening up of the capital account as their new growth drivers that will help them to differentiate themselves from big local players.

A survey conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers and the China Banking Association of 1,640 bankers revealed that nearly 80%t of Chinese bankers expect this trend to affect the long-term profitability of the industry. 

Boom time of Hong Kong i-bankers

Hong Kong bankers are looking forward to a surge in fees in 2014 with a slew of big-money initial public offerings, reports Singapore’s Business Times.

With the value of IPOs in Hong Kong seen doubling to over US$32 billion this year as major economies pick up steam, Greater China could account for more than half of all 2014 investment banking fees for the Asia-Pacific region, excluding Japan.

Robeco plans staff build out in Hong Kong and Singapore

Dutch fund house Robeco plans to add sales staff in Hong Kong and Singapore as part of a plan to expand its investor based among institutions and banks in Asia, reports Asia Investor.

Thai insurance deal

Zurich-headquartered ACE has agreed to buy a 60.9% stake in Thai non-life insurer, Siam Commercial Samaggi Insurance, for about US$185 million as foreign insurers step up their presence in underdeveloped Southeast Asian insurance markets, reports Asian Insurance Review.

Quote of the Day

“I had an interview at Goldman Sachs. It was a total wipeout. It was really friendly for the first six hours, and I thought I was doing great. Then right at the end, when my brain was turning to mush, they brought in a math mastermind who crushed me.”




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