Hong Kong vs Singapore: which city is your best bet for a banking job?

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If you’re a front-office banking professional in Asia, you may be looking across both Hong Kong and Singapore for your next banking job. And you may be wondering which city currently has the most vacancies in your sector.

We went through the eFinancialCareers jobs database and found the number of vacancies in Singapore and Hong Kong across nine key front-office job functions. We then converted these figures into city-based percentages to produce the chart below, which shows how Hong Kong (in green) compares with Singapore (in blue) for front-office openings per job function.

In four of the jobs we looked at, Hong Kong is the clear winner. Perhaps surprisingly, given Singapore’s traditional strength in fixed income sales and trading, Hong Kong has 87% of current openings in that sector.  

Hong Kong is similarly dominant in equities (sales, trading and research), but that doesn’t mean the job market there is booming. Deutsche Bank’s global job cuts involve shuttering its Asian equities business, and there have also been Asian equities redundancies this year at BNP Paribas, Morgan Stanley and Nomura.

About two-thirds of the capital markets (ECM and DCM) vacancies in both cities are currently located in Hong Kong, according to our database. While Hong Kong lost is crown as the world’s leading IPO fundraising venue to New York in the first half of this year, it remains significantly ahead of Singapore in terms of new listings.

In four other sectors – corporate banking, FX, M&A and private banking – the job-numbers difference between the two cities is negligible. In private banking, for example, firms such as HSBC, Julius Baer and UBS are hiring relationship managers in both locations. Singapore is a hub for serving Southeast Asian millionaires and billionaires, while Hong Kong’s RMs primarily manage the assets of wealthy Chinese.

Singapore only trumps Hong Kong for front-office vacancies within commodities. The city state has long been Asia’s trading hub in the commodities sector.

Image credit: Rawpixel, Getty 

Have a confidential story, tip, or comment you’d like to share? Email: smortlock@efinancialcareers.com or Telegram: @simonmortlock

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