Morgan Stanley has confirmed that it plans to hire equity researchers in Hong Kong – and its equity capital markets (ECM) team in the city is also looking like a good place to work.
Early this month we noted that Morgan Stanley wanted to hire up to 20 associates as well as some VP-level equity researchers, across a range of sectors, as it looks to grow its A-share coverage by 50% to 100% in the next 18 months. This could be the tip of the hiring iceberg, however.
The US firm now plans to add “dozens” of new jobs to its China-focused equity research and corporate analysis teams over the coming year, Gokul Laroia, co-chief executive of Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific, told the South China Morning Post. Laroia wants to hire more researchers as Beijing gives foreign investors more direct access to mainland stock markets, including linking the Hong Kong and Shenzhen stock exchanges.
Recruiting and retaining research analysts won’t be easy, however. “Recent graduate intakes at global banks haven’t given them enough analysts who speak both Mandarin and English and understand both international and domestic compliance standards,” Stanley Soh, a Hong Kong-based country director of financial services solutions in Asia, told us. “Because of the shortage of junior talent, moving from bank to bank is prevalent among the top analysts.”
Morgan Stanley’s Laroia also provided some comforting words to his ECM bankers. Last year the firm worked on more initial public offerings than any other in Hong Kong and Laroia remains confident that the opening up of China’s equity markets won’t affect Hong Kong’s ability to attract new listings. “There are a variety of issues outside of just access to capital that would dictate wanting to list in Hong Kong and I don’t think those change in a hurry,” he told the SCMP.
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