As China slowly loosens its control over financial operations, there are predictions of a flurry of jobs opening up in banking and investment services on both the mainland and Hong Kong. Wall Street and a number of UK and Swiss banks have made inroads, but state control has tempered their success.
Nonetheless, expectations remain high. A PricewaterhouseCoopers survey notes that by 2013, foreign banks in China expect to increase jobs there by 48 percent.
As far as the capital markets go, things are beginning to move again, albeit slowly. JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley just received approval to move into the securities market via separate joint ventures based on the mainland. Meanwhile, private banking continues to generate a ton of interest with HSBC, Deutsche Bank and Standard Chartered Bank acting as big players. Given the interest and money flowing into the APAC, look to further spots opening up in this sector. Barclays is just one of many ramping up wealth management operations and hiring there.
Expect commercial lending, or more specifically trade finance, to continue to add jobs at a more consistent pace given the increasing export business. There's word of spotty hiring at a number of the big global banks, including Deutsche and JPMorgan. Professionals with specialized trade finance expertise and regional knowledge are needed for management posts.
Also, a number of Chinese government initiatives are sure to add jobs down the road. Private equity may see a pickup, as foreign investment in Chinese companies has received preliminary approval. Trade settlement is probably the next space to see job growth, given recent moves by Chinese regulators to expand its cross-border trade settlement program. Offshore renminbi debt offerings are also increasing.
Finally, FX traders are being moved to Hong Kong as banks and investment firms scurry to a get in on the ground after loosening of controls on the yuan. Expect Forex jobs in the U.S. to pickup as well, given the recent move to open yuan trading to U.S. customers.