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China IPOs fuel ECM hiring

A record number of Chinese IPOs is fuelling demand for equity capital markets (ECM) staff in Hong Kong.

The world's largest IPO, the $19 billion Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) deal, was executed last month and there's more to come. UBS officials told the New York Times they're working on two dozen Chinese IPOs that could raise $9.2 billion next year.

It's no wonder therefore that Matthew Wu, Manager, Front Office Banking for Michael Page International in Hong Kong, tells us all banks from bulge brackets to mid tier through to smaller houses have indicated they'll be hiring in ECM next year.

He notes that experienced professionals with Chinese contacts are highly sought after by most banks, and demand for Analyst/Associate level to undertake more of the execution work is also rising.

"Our latest salary survey indicates that ECM professionals with five years plus experience would earn a base of HK$$750 - $1.1 million. (US$96,000 to US$141,000). Bonuses are still to be announced but expectations are up 20% on last year," says Wu.

The top ten investment banks in Asian ECM deals this year are Goldman Sachs, UBS, Citigroup, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Bank of China International, Deutsche Bank, Merrill Lynch, Credit Suisse and Nomura, according to data from Dealogic.

Investment bankers say deals from China next year are likely to be smaller but more numerous, according to the NY Times. Bankers say smaller deals often require almost as much work as large ones.

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