After several years of pedestrian performance in Asia, hedge funds are starting to rally, and compensation is adjusting accordingly, says professional services firm Heidrick & Struggles.
According to the firm's second annual Hedge Fund Compensation Survey (Asia 2013), base salaries for hedge fund staff are starting to be adjusted.
"In both 2012 and 2013, 40% of respondents reported increases in base salaries, indicating an upward trend. The rises are skewed in favor of junior analysts and execution traders whose salaries have been worst affected over the past few years."
Some 37% of respondents reported increases in their 2012 bonus, compared to only 26% in 2011. Even more hedge fund employees expect larger bonuses for 2013 – 48% of respondents expect an increase in 2013, up from 45% last year, and more significantly, only 11% expect their bonuses to shrink, down from almost a quarter one year ago.
The firm says that the high levels of unemployment in the industry are slowly disappearing as people find jobs or move to other industries.
"Employers are finding that they hold less sway over the market than they did just a year ago. Although the market is still employer-led, it is rapidly approaching a balance. About 50% of respondents reported that their funds are looking for staff, with 10% actively hiring and 40% taking an opportunistic approach."
The South China Morning Post says that Abu Dhabi broker ADS Securities, the biggest foreign-exchange broker in the Middle East, is looking for a partner in China so that it can gain access to the new energy-trading platform in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, as part of its efforts to expand in Asia.
ADS, which opened an office in Hong Kong a month ago, is looking to hire 30 staff in the city next year to make it a regional hub in Asia, as it gears up in the yuan foreign-exchange and commodities trading markets.
The Motley Fool says that Singapore banks OCB, DBS and UOB were among the very few that came through the GFC basically unscathed.
"(For) OCB, the financial crisis might even have been seen as an inconsequential blip. That’s because it was the only local bank that managed to maintain its dividends through the crisis."
DBS and UOB alsomanaged the crisis admirably as well, with only slight dips in dividends of 4.4% and 2.3% respectively for the two banks from 2007 to 2008.
Bitcoin's days may well be numbered. Numerous new outlets, including NBC, are reporting that the price has lost half the value reached in late November, thanks to reports that the People's Bank of China (PBoC) has ordered third-party payment providers to stop using the virtual currency.
Bloomberg says that Citigroup is planning to keep this year's bonuses on par with those paid in 2012, or even reduce them. Investment bankers could receive payouts that are close to flat compared to last year while traders and salespeople could get cuts of 2% according to anonymous sources.
The Year of the Horse is likely to see a record level of IPOs in China, according to China Daily Online.
The website, quoting a report from Ernst & Young, says 2014 will be a record year in China and globally, with economic fundamentals and strong global liquidity fuelling new listings.