2014

October 2014

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2014

This month we take a look at Hong Kong, a major player in international financial services and one of our four major recruitment markets in the Asia-Pacific region. Traditionally Hong Kong was an expat outpost focused on Asian trade for global corporates in the region. Over the past two decades Hong Kong SAR [Special Administrative Region] has transformed into a dynamic financial services hub with significant strategic advantage given its close ties with mainland China.

Hong Kong has an ideal location for international firms given its proximity to all markets across Asia-Pacific. The high cost of office rentals in Hong Kong has limited staffing growth in the past and, as a result, financial services firms have gradually moved to lower cost locations outside of Hong Kong’s Central toward Kowloon and also further north toward the border with the Special Economic Zone of Shenzhen.

In recent years Hong Kong has shifted from a heavy investment banking Sales & Trading focus to be more geared toward institutional asset management and private wealth service delivery in an attempt to capture booming mainland Chinese wealth.

The political landscape in Hong Kong has featured heavily in the news of late, with thousands of protestors taking to the streets demanding full democracy from mainland China. Not too long ago Amnesty International raised concerns over the “deteriorating state of freedom of expression” and the gradual loss of liberties for residents in Hong Kong SAR. Interestingly Amnesty International also suggested that financial services would be affected if freedom of expression deteriorated more. In such a scenario, traders and analysts might have limited or censored access to economic data.

April 2014 marked the twenty year anniversary of the demolition of the infamous Kowloon Walled City. Since the 15th century Kowloon became well known for its debauchery, illegal housing and crime with the Kowloon Walled City its epicentre. At the time of its destruction in 1994 it was the most densely inhabited place in the world. There is now a park where the city once stood and Kowloon is now home to several investment banking offices, as the migration continues away from the extremely high rents of Central.

If you can’t handle another dull boardroom lunch in the glass towers of Central then try one of these different dining options:
Town just opened on the 10th floor of the Cubus Building at Causeway Bay, and has been dubbed one of the hottest new restaurants to open this autumn.
Isono Eatery & Bar – French, Spanish & Italian dishes to share at 35 Aberdeen Street, Central.
Eighteen Sharp is a new, modern Chinese restaurant at 15 Sharp Street East, Causeway Bay.
– Le Relais de l’Entrecôte, a well-known Parisian steakhouse, will soon open at 222 Queen’s Road East.

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