Daily Dispatches: China downturn hits local banks

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Working in China may just pay off

Working in China may just pay off

It’s traditionally been tough for foreign banks in China to lure talent from domestic banks, whose generous benefits and “jobs for life” culture helped them keep hold of employees. And recruiters in China have also pointed to another advantage: expanding earnings growth helping to drive new jobs.

Now, however, that growth is decreasing – it was 19 percent across Chinese banks last year, down from 36 percent in 2011 and 2010, according to Fitch Ratings. The agency cautioned in a report that lower earnings growth at the banks was likely to weaken internal capital generation and put further pressure on capital this year and next. Such pressures may lead to Chinese banks slowing down their headcount expansion.

Following this downward trend, China Construction Bank yesterday reported its slowest growth in net earnings in six years as the country's economic slowdown dented demand for the lender's financial services.

Pension plans (Asian Investor)

Korea’s $340 billion National Pension Service (NPS) is planning to open an office in Hong Kong, potentially this year, and will look at setting up in Shanghai in the future.

Can’t remember (Channel News Asia)

Swiss national Juerg Buergin, an ex-UBS employee on trial for allegedly having paid sex with an underage girl in Singapore, has told a Singapore court that he could not remember the girl.

Hedge fund high (Bloomberg)

Japanese hedge funds returned 11.3 percent from December through February, the best three-month result on record.

Executive problem (Asia One)

Singapore’s executive-focused society is “bizarre”, says economics professor.

Tough Aussies (Sydney Morning Herald)

Banks in Australia are imposing tougher interest rate conditions on companies they see as being in vulnerable or risky sectors.

Agents' pain (WSJ)

It’s not a good time to be a real-estate agent in Hong Kong.

Maids go home (BBC)

Your foreign maid can’t become a Hong Kong resident, a court in Hong Kong has ruled.

Killer job (Asia One)

Here are 16 secret ways in which your job is slowly killing you.