Singapore’s finance workers are feeling increasingly insecure about their jobs as financial services firms move to offshore certain job functions to lower cost centres such as India and the Philippines.
In a new Astbury Marsden survey – the results of which were published in the Singapore Business Review – the index for candidate confidence fell from 50.5 in the middle of the year to 39.4 at the end of the third quarter of 2013. A score of 50 or higher demonstrates a positive sentiment on jobs.
Offshoring, which Astbury Marsden maintains escalated in 2013, has affected mainly back and middle office jobs. One of the reasons banks have moved these functions is the very high cost of living in Singapore, with the Lion City ranking in the top 10 most expensive cities in the world.
Australia’s central bank governor Glenn Stevens has warned his fellow citizens not to fall victim to hubris by taking the past 22 years of economic growth for granted.
The Wall Street Journal quotes Stevens as saying, “We (Australians) are building up this myth of 22 years uninterrupted growth. We shouldn’t do that. Sooner or later we’ll have another downturn.”
Five Wall Street banks are now believed to be the subject of a wide-reaching Department of Justice investigation into the employment of Chinese ‘princelings’ – the relatives of high ranking or influential Chinese bureaucrats. Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan are all under scrutiny.
Bloomberg reports that Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse are also facing Securities and Exchange Commission investigations.
Chinese mainland insurer Anbang Insurance is said to be digging in its heels about the price being asked for Hong Kong’s Wing Hang Bank, says South China Morning Post.
Beijing-based Anbang has apparently indicated it won’t pay more than 1.7 times the lender’s book value this year, while Wing Hang’s owners want two times book value . Wing Hang has a market value of about US$4.7 billion, which is 1.7 times its estimated book value this year.