Morning Coffee: China gives Hong Kong traders another reason to be cheerful

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The year has kicked off with potentially good news for financial jobs in Hong Kong. Following the launch of the so-called Shanghai-Hong Kong through train in November, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Monday that a stock connect scheme linking Hong Kong and Shenzhen “should be next”, reports the South China Morning Post.

As we noted last year, the Shanghai programme led to a surge in equities-related hiring at larger banks, in particular BNP Paribas and Standard Chartered. Banks also hired in IT and compliance to be ready for the regulatory and technology requirements of stock connect, while brokerages increased their office space in Hong Kong.

A cross-border deal with Shenzhen should also keep the brokers busy in Hong Kong, Christopher Cheung Wah-fung, a Hong Kong legislator for the financial sector, told the SCMP. “People in southern China know Hong Kong stocks better. Local brokers can also easily go over to Shenzhen for company visits. This could lead to a better cross-border turnover between Shenzhen and Hong Kong in comparison with that between Hong Kong and Shanghai,” he said.

“A Shenzhen-Hong Kong stock link will have a positive effect on HKEx in terms of turnover and profitability,” Sam Chi Yung, a strategist at Delta Asia Securities in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg. “We still don’t know the timetable of the programme, but at least we know that China intends to launch it.”

[efc_twitter text="A stock connect deal will also boost Shenzhen’s growing reputation as a test-bed for yuan liberalisation"] and other Chinese financial reforms and as an emerging centre for financial services jobs. As we noted last month, HSBC, Standard Chartered and UBS have opened offices in the city’s Qianhai special economic zone.


Deustche Bank’s co-CEO explains what he thinks about Asia markets in 2015. (Finance Asia)

China’s newest bank is part owned by the operator of messaging app WeChat. (Business Times)

Munich Re says China is its largest Asia Pacific market, but margins remain poor. (South China Morning Post)

Senior ANZ trader suspended as part of regulatory investigation. (Sydney Morning Herald)

Singapore International Commercial Court hires three former senior UK judges. (Law Gazette)

Singapore bank lending grew in November. (Straits Times)

UOB thinks it knows what women want. (Straits Times)

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