Morning Coffee: Yet another Chinese bank ramps up recruitment in Hong Kong

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March appears to be the month for Chinese firms to tempt us with hiring sprees. First came Ping An bank, with its plans to establish a Hong Kong subsidiary and recruit up to 60 staff in the city next year. Then on Monday CICC appointed a new chairman to lead it through an IPO that is expected to trigger more hiring in Hong Kong and China as the bank tries to recapture lost market share.

Now China’s Huatai Securities is set to recruit more bankers in advance of its own listing on the Hong Kong exchange, which is expected as soon as May. It wants to raise more than HK$9bn and intends to expand its broking and margin lending businesses to capitalise on China’s financial liberalisation policies, reports the South Morning Post.

The newest recruit to join Huatai is Lu Ting, who is joining the firm’s Hong Kong office in two months as head of research. Lu was previously at Bank of America Merrill Lynch as chief Greater China economist. Like CICC, Huatai is expected to grow its equity capital markets (ECM) team – it’s already poached Patrick Ngan from UBS as head of ECM. Two ECM bankers have also joined from HSBC, according to Finance Asia.

Huatai’s hiring demonstrates its ability to pull senior talent away from Western competitors, who currently have little appetite for major expansion in Asian investment banking. “The key will be whether these people stay with Chinese banks in the longer term,” a Hong Kong headhunter told us last week.


Bi Mingjian, the new boss of CICC, plots his bank’s road to recovery. (South China Morning Post)

DBS has a strong private banking business and a solid investment banking arm, says KGI Fraser Securities in a new report. (Business Times)

Singapore’s recent efforts to curb immigration will damage business competitiveness and will need to be reversed, says Economist Intelligence Unit. (Asia One)

Governments across Asia try to expand the reach of financial services. (Wall Street Journal)

Singapore authorities receive 567 suggestions on Fatca compliance. (Straits Times)

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