Sun, Feb 03, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Bonuses for Hong Kong bankers drop 20%: SCMP

Bloomber

Lunar New Year bonuses for Hong Kong bankers fell about 20 percent after a dismal year for the stock market, the South China Morning Post reported.

Instead of a bonus, some local brokers had to make do with the traditional red envelope exchanged during the Lunar New Year, containing just a few thousand Hong Kong dollars, the Post reported.

The benchmark Hang Seng index fell 14 percent last year, its biggest annual decline since 2011.

Accounting firms seem to have done better thanks to a robust year for initial public offerings in Hong Kong.

BDO Ltd (香港立信德豪), the fifth-largest accountancy in the city, is paying an average bonus twice the size of last year’s, managing director Johnson Kong (江智蛟) said.

Agnes Chan (陳瑞娟), managing partner of Ernst & Young’s Hong Kong and Macau office, told the Post that top performers at the firm received double-digit pay rises, while the average bonus payout also increased from a year earlier.

In related news, Natixis SA, the French bank that had sought growth in risky trading businesses, is looking to sell the portfolio of complex Korean derivatives that blew up in the fourth quarter, losing nearly US$300 million, people familiar with the matter said.

The firm has approached potential buyers, including JPMorgan Chase & Co and BNP Paribas SA, to gauge their interest, said the people, who asked not to be named as they were discussing information that is not public.

It has also asked one of its partners in selling the products to retail investors — South Korea’s largest brokerage, Mirae Asset Daewoo Co — if it is interested in buying the portfolio, another person said.

Spokespeople for JPMorgan, BNP and Natixis declined to comment.

Mirae did not respond to attempts to contact the company after normal business hours.

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