What are the major trends in investment banking in Asia?

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Rank: Chimp | 14

I'm interested in people's views of the most important market trends and issues for investment banking in Asia Pacific at the moment. If you were the Asia Head of Investment Banking for a BB bank, what would be the top 5 items on your list of issues at the start of 2014?

Any input much appreciated!

Comments (30)

Jan 2, 2014

retrenchments

Jan 2, 2014

Thanks SSits. Do you think IBs are specifically pulling back from Asia (and if so, why), or is this just part of general trimming of balance sheets and focusing on core businesses given the increasing regulatory capital requirements, regulatory issues, etc?

Jan 2, 2014

-Still not seeing the growth in IB fees that prompted a lot of the big banks to build out their HK/China offices pre-2008
-Continued layoffs and poor hiring at most banks in Asia for IBD, due to the above
-Growing activity stemming from SE Asia versus sluggish activity from Greater China (constant fears of China slowdown and a "hard landing")
-Within IBD, continued reliance mostly on IPO business, M&A markets still not very active in Asia

    • 1
Jan 2, 2014

Thanks asiamoney, v useful

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Jan 2, 2014

I was told that in Vietnam it's more about origination/relationship managing. Heavy lifting is done by the SG team. One of the biggest upcoming IPOs in Vietnam is done by Citi SG.

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.

Jan 2, 2014

Thanks for that Ezio. Anyone else, how about other parts of Asia? Like China, Manila, Thailand Malaysia Indonesia etc?

Also, what's the difference between the SG and HK regional hub for bulge brackets? How do they differ if they cover both?

Jan 2, 2014

From what I know, things are pretty bad right now. Most of deals are delayed because the market is hit pretty bad.

Jan 2, 2014

Job-wise is not good at all. I heard a round of cuts were made last couple weeks and another probably around Dec. 2nd yr US MBAs are saying the Asian IB job market is worse that US/UK!

Jan 2, 2014

If I'm not wrong, IB offers from Asian offices are either exploding offers or have an extremely short response deadline. In other words, you would have had to make a decision before US recruiting starts.

Jan 2, 2014

Batman is correct.

Jan 2, 2014

^ lol

Jan 2, 2014

I would be thinking about getting an MBA at a university which is a target for IBs in those locations. Most associates have MBAs. Plus, this can help make up for your non-target undergrad school.

Jan 2, 2014

Chinese people love degrees..

Jan 2, 2014

You should get an MBA. A lot of the associates/analysts in Asia I've met or know of are either planning to get one, in one right now, or already got one. So, basically if your in Asia, going to Stanford GSB, Harvard, Wharton will help alot... Also, as a side note the spots for Asia are not as huge as US so you probably do want to be from a target school.

Jan 2, 2014

.

Jan 2, 2014

No? Just had a business trip to SE Asia and MS is definitely the top in terms of absolute deal size. however, GS carries more laymen's prestige.

The culture of IBD in Asia is definitely more uptight, as they are more strict with professionalism and timelieness

Jan 2, 2014

Bump. Curious as well.
What are the work hours like in IBD in Asia? Does it go beyond 100+/wk? Considering how we all know Japan/any other asian country works on average, more than the US/EU/UK.

Jan 2, 2014

I interned at an IBD of a large commercial bank over the summer in Korea.

I can give you a decent picture of IBD in Korea. Honestly, the biggest difference are the cultural norms in Asia. There's much more of a social hierarchy, people are generally more reserved. It's really hard to generalize, is there anything specific that you want to know?

Jan 2, 2014

if you don't know any of the mainstream asian languages (i.e. mandarin, korean, japanese), it will be a huge waste of time for you to go to Asia. That might be one of the main reasons why your classmates didn't get interviews

Anyways, business is all done in relationships in Asia and the culture is more strict. Gotta know the right people or you won't last long there especially as a foreigner.

Jan 2, 2014

Interesting insight. So you think this is going to be a waste of time applying for a FT position because I do not know a local language?

I am not really interested in South Korea, China and Japan. My targets are HK and Singapore.
I heard that they speak English in these offices. What should I do? I am not planning to stay there just for a couple of years.

Regarding my classmates, the situation is really crazy. Some of them are real superstars but they were not even invited for first rounds. On the other hand, it seems that many people (some of them on this forum) did manage to transfer to Asia. I can recall a Canadian girl (snowrice) who somehow managed to get into GS Singapore. I wonder how is that possible. Especially without a top MBA!

More opinions would be really appreciated.

Jan 2, 2014
sinjoo:

Interesting insight. So you think this is going to be a waste of time applying for a FT position because I do not know a local language?

I am not really interested in South Korea, China and Japan. My targets are HK and Singapore.
I heard that they speak English in these offices. What should I do? I am not planning to stay there just for a couple of years.

Regarding my classmates, the situation is really crazy. Some of them are real superstars but they were not even invited for first rounds. On the other hand, it seems that many people (some of them on this forum) did manage to transfer to Asia. I can recall a Canadian girl (snowrice) who somehow managed to get into GS Singapore. I wonder how is that possible. Especially without a top MBA!

More opinions would be really appreciated.

I'm looking at Hong Kong FT job listings on my school's career site, and a bank that posted for an associate position (BB) seem to require proficiency in Cantonese and ability to read/write Chinese.

Jan 2, 2014

HK and Singapore mostly speak english in their offices. I know in S. Korea if you work at a foreign IBD you speak english in the office.

Jan 2, 2014

they do speak english in the office to each other. But how you communicate with the client mostly in canto/mandarin.

Some of the BB banks require the associate and analysts to speak mandarin,too.

Singapore might be easier for you to get in so try focus on that area, since the business there is sometimes conducted in English.

Jan 2, 2014
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Jan 2, 2014
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