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Shanghai may appear to be challenging Hong Kong as a finance hub, but people moves between the cities remain relatively rare.

Morning Coffee: Little candidate movement between Shanghai and Hong Kong

Shanghai has managed to generate the kind of headlines in recent weeks that seem to support its ultimate ambition to become a global financial centre by 2020. The launch of Stock Connect in mid-November was followed by proposals to reform the Shanghai Free Trade Zone and introduce deposit insurance for banks. Hong Kong, meanwhile, is losing its position as China’s sole “international agent” city, and Shanghai and Hong Kong were rated in equal fifth place in a recent global ranking of financial centres.

Despite such signs of convergence, however, the finance-sector careers on offer in the two cities remain markedly different, and [efc_twitter text="relatively few banking candidates are moving between Hong Kong and Shanghai (and vice versa), say recruiters in the region"]. Mainland-based M&A bankers (with cross-border experience) hired into Hong Kong roles provide a notable, but niche, exception.

“As Shanghai is a more China-focused market, it is more inwardly looking, which leads to a lower number of expatriate professionals working there,” says John Mullally, associate director, financial services, at Robert Walters in Hong Kong. “The level of sophistication of some roles in Shanghai is also not as sophisticated as in Hong Kong. Although a lot of the deals are closer to Shanghai now, Hong Kong still has more high-end, sophisticated jobs in the financial services industry.”

Hong Kong Monetary Authority chief executive Norman Chan Tak-lam has also recently highlighted the differences between the two markets. “Hong Kong and Shanghai are serving different customers,” he said, quoted in the South China Morning Post. “The growth of Shanghai trade and financial businesses could also help Hong Kong growth as long as our companies can offer the services and products to capture the opportunities."

Meanwhile:

Standard Chartered is considering replacing its banking advisers, UBS and JPMorgan. (Today)

Ping An deal shakes up bank league tables. (Finance Asia)

SGX to set up Asian bond trading platform. (Business Times)

South Korea launches yuan-won market in Seoul. (South China Morning Post)

How Australian banks are resisting change. (Sydney Morning Herald)

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AUTHORSimon Mortlock Content Manager

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