Finance Industry Update – Q1 2015
Within a lot of the emerging markets, many companies look to fill vacancies with employees from more mature markets such as London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. If you are working in financial services in one of these locations and considering a move to one of the emerging markets, 2015 looks to be a prosperous year.
If you are living in Singapore as well, this seems to be the market recruiters are looking to source talent from the most. They are targeting Singapore with 23% market recruitment, New York and London following closely at 21% and Hong Kong’s procurement sitting at 16%.
Furthermore, as an expatriate, recruitment professionals have cited particular skills, such as western education and experience, specific regulatory knowledge and particular knowledge of the local financial services authority as desirable traits in a candidate.
Key skills and areas companies are looking to improve upon in 2015 are cost reduction, lean efficiencies, laying foundation for further growth, Business process improvement and system implementation. With an eye towards the current digital trend, it is no surprise that many financial executives have indicated they will increase digital spending aiming to improve their online presence, website and online banking experience.
In the particular markets, the UAE sees relatively solid growth heading into Q1 of 2015 with the real GDP to increase, albeit by only 0.1%. Dubai is suggested to outperform the other major city of the Emirate, Abu Dhabi, due to the increased trade and tourism sectors in Dubai.
Credit growth in the private sector will remain slow as commercial banks increase provisioning against potential loan losses due to the debt funding cliff.
Other key issues to look out for that could affect the financial markets are the tensions between Iran and the west as well as the potential threat islamic militants pose in the region. If any activity happens here, you can expect to see a higher risk profile and stunted growth.
Off the back of record oil revenues, public spending is expected to outperform private investment in the coming quarters, not just Q1.
Real GDP is is expected to reach 3.8% in 2015 and 2016 compared to an annual average of 3.6% between 2009-2013. Bold government investment plans pose a positive outlook as well, with the weaker oil process not expected to derail such investment plans.
Like all of the region, political unrest lingers and any uprising will cause significant regression to such numbers.
The main focus heading into 2015 is spending by government entities to help shore up its key bases of support. This is due to the persistent unrest within the region. Despite this, Saudi Arabia remains one of the more robust economies within the region.
With Riyadh’s economy remaining one of the more robust and insulated from the declining oil prices, they will continue their ways with no real change in fiscal policies as public spending will continue to support private consumption and fixed investment.
Real GDP growth is forecasted at 3.6% in 2015, slightly below what was forecasted last year due to the normalization of domestic oil production.
One of the key risks to look out for is the recent government policy of saudization, the recent intensification of workforce nationalisation efforts. this is likely to make the business environment overall and lead to an increase in project delays.
Lastly, inflation is expected to remain relatively subdued in 2015, with price pressures stemming largely from housing costs.
Singapores restructuring drive continues with the PAP enforcing stricter foreign labour rules to an already tight labour market. This is having a direct impact on Singapore’s economy and financial sectors, seeing losses in both the dollar and GDP.
Singapore’s real GDP growth accelerated in previous quarters slightly to 2.4% is saw in Q3 2014. Despite this increase it still remains below the forecasted percent of 2.5-3.5% forecasted.
Positions in Demand
Out of all of the financial services market, positions in demand are:
- Compliance specialists (private banking, investment banking and AML)
- Cash and product
- Management professionals
- Trade sales professionals
- Operational accounting specialists
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