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Morning Coffee: Looking for an Asian finance job? Try the Big Four in HK, not a bank in SG

Looking for an Asian finance job? Try the Big Four in HK, not a bank in SG

Look to the Big Four!

Where should you turn to for an Asian finance job over the next six months? The Big Four in Hong Kong. And where should you avoid? International banks in Singapore – so says a new survey.

Professional services leads all other industries in Hong Kong in terms of hiring intentions, with a net 36.7% of employers in the sector looking to increase headcount in the second half of the year, according to the survey by recruiters Hudson. “We’re seeing strong hiring activity in professional services. The Big Four in particular have a keen interest in corporate auditors, especially those experienced in the financial services sector,” says Siddharth Suhas, director of Hudson for Hong Kong.

By contrast, in Singapore, the banking and finance industry shows the strongest decline in hiring intentions, with a net 21.9% of firms intending to increase headcount in the second half of the year, down 14.3 percentage points from H1 2015, according to the Hudson report.

“The sector, and particularly international banks, is facing some challenges, and that appears to be impacting capacity for adding new headcount. As has been well documented, China demand is easing, plus with uncertainty over the Eurozone it’s not surprising to see a softening in demand in this climate,” says Emmanuel White, regional director of Hudson in Singapore. “That said we are seeing an increase in hiring activity from Asian banks. These institutions are certainly hiring, and private wealth relationship managers are particularly in demand at present.”

The recruitment outlook in banking is better in Hong Kong, despite the ongoing mainland stock market rout – 29.3% of employers are looking to add permanent headcount (compared with Singapore’s 21.9%). But the jobs that banks intend to create in Hong Kong are predictable: “Role types most in demand in this sector are compliance, risk and governance, as well as sales and marketing positions,” says Suhas. “There is less demand in operational roles,” he adds, reflecting the continued offshoring of back-office jobs away from Hong Kong.


HSBC has appointed Guilherme Lima as head of its wealth management business for Asia Pacific. (Asian Investor)

It’s survival of the fittest in Singapore’s private banking sector. (Finance Asia)

Beijing clears way for Hong Kong accountants to audit Chinese firms. (South China Morning Post)

Hong Kong sees silver lining in China market turmoil. (Financial Times)

Drop in Singapore job growth due to seasonal decline, says minister. (Channel News Asia)

Top investment tips from Singapore’s “Budget Babe”. (Straits Times)

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