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Jobs market hots up in Asia-Pacific as pay leaps ahead

City A.M. Reporter
Large numbers of finance professionals in Hong Kong have seen their pay jump between 20 and 40 per cent in the past six months as competition for top talent heats up, a study showed yesterday.

Average salaries across the Asia-Pacific financial sector, which is the region’s highest paymaster, have risen or remained resilient in 2009/10 compared with the previous year, and expectations for higher pay are on the rise.

The annual 2010/2011 salary guide released by Robert Half International surveyed about 3,500 finance professionals in the region.

“It is the first salary increase since the downturn of the job market,” said Andrew Morris, a director of Robert Half Hong Kong.

He said most financial services professionals such as investment bankers, retail bankers and hedge fund managers expect their annual bonuses to jump this year.

“The bonuses are unlikely to match pre-crisis levels but the expectations in some cases are that they could be as high as six months salary,” he added.

The hot Asia-Pacific job market means two of every three employers surveyed were anxious about losing their best talent.

“Employers need to get onto the front foot and act fast to retain top performers,” Morris added.

He said most finance professionals in Hong Kong got a bonus in 2009 despite the economic downturn, and over 80 per cent expect that they willget a bonus payout this year as well, according to the study.