The News: Bidding War For Asia Banking Talent

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Big institutions' race to expand in Asia is sparking bidding wars for top bankers. The region appears immune from the public ire against high pay packages for bankers.

The Financial Times reports:

A shortage of talent combined with rivalry among banks to expand or rebuild operations across the fast-growing region has sent compensation levels for some bankers soaring to levels last seen before the financial turmoil, according to headhunters and bankers.

The aggressive bidders include bailed-out institutions such as Citigroup, Bank of America Merrill Lynch and UBS. Other banks expanding staff in the region include Standard Chartered, Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Nomura.

Senior bankers in niche areas are being wooed with multimillion-dollar deals that include one-year or two-year bonus guarantees - even reportedly running to $10 million packages for bankers with "proven ability" to bring in revenue in China. "The return of such packages and bonuses could spark furore among politicians and regulators in the US and Europe," the FT observes.

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