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There are signs of a recovery in Hong Kong's ECM market but for now banks are mainly still hiring in DCM and M&A.

Morning Coffee: ECM recovers in Hong Kong but DCM hiring still hotter

After a quiet autumn in their market, [efc_twitter text="do ECM bankers in Hong Kong now have more reasons to be cheerful?"]  New issue activity is picking up this month in the city as rising markets and China’s unexpected interest rate cut late November increase investor appetite for stocks, reports Finance Asia. Meanwhile, on December 1 Ping An Insurance raised US$4.75bn in a private placement led (in a last-minute deal) by Morgan Stanley.

However, headhunters who recruit for investment banks in Hong Kong say it’s too soon to tell whether the market uptick is sustainable enough to warrant banks adding to their ECM ranks after bonuses are paid in early 2015. While (as Finance Asia points out), most banking revenues in Hong Kong come from ECM this year, headhunters say that the city’s ECM teams are already large enough and that for now any increase in deal-making can be handled by existing staff.

ECM hiring in Hong Kong has generally been subdued, while [efc_twitter text="banks in Hong Kong have bulked up in DCM this year"] (as they have done in Singapore, too). “Issuers are attracted to the bond markets in an environment of low interest rates, so DCM teams are hiring at a steady level,” Hong Kong headhunter Stanley Soh told us earlier this year. M&A hiring, especially senior bankers moving into China-market teams, has also been strong.

Meanwhile:

The top-10 things that could go wrong for HSBC next year. (Telegraph)

More pics of “cool” Singaporean workplaces, but where are the banks? (Straits Times)

US extends Standard Chartered’s “probation” period. (Financial Times)

Swiss banks are targetting Chinese wealth and want to make their country a yuan-trading hub. (Straits Times)

Asia's financial regulators are taking too long to implement measures to protect taxpayers from big bank failures. (South China Morning Post)

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