Lower salary increases in Hong Kong for the second year in a row

For a second year in a row, salary increases have shrunk in Hong Kong.

A survey undertaken by JobsDB.com reveals that in 2016, as of now, the average salary increase has fallen to 3.6 percent. Initial expectations are that a downward trend will continue for the rest of the year.

Of the people who responded to the survey, 60 percent have already received an increase in pay this year and over 50 percent have received a bonus.

  • The most significant rises in pay were given in the construction industry. They received a pay increase of 5.1 percent.
  • The public relations & marketing and IT fields both experienced a 4.9 percent rise in pay.
  • Business development jobs, sales, and customer service were given the lowest increase in pay at 1.8 percent.

This has played a significant role in local employees being more thoughtful and cautious before changing jobs for a short term gain in salary.

  • Of the people participating in the survey, only 39 percent anticipate making a career move, compared to 43 percent in 2015. In 2014, this number was even higher at 51 percent.
  • Of those participating in the survey who are employed in public sector jobs, 45 percent are currently looking to make a change in career field. This is largely due to to continual increase in resignation rates in the field of civil service in Hong Kong.

One aspect which needs to be noted is that according to those surveyed, a salary increase is not what people want the most in Hong Kong.

  • Almost 60 percent of respondents desire non-monetary benefits, such as work incentive programs, a 15-30 minute break from work throughout the day, and for their lunch time to be extended.
  • Half of the people participating in the survey said they would prefer an increased salary package.

Survey participants were also questioned whether they are permitted to attend to personal matters throughout the course of the work day. Those who work in professional services, 75 percent, were more likely to answer yes. Of the participants who replied no to the question, over 51 percent were employed in the insurance field. The most common reply given for engaging in personal matters at work, was to keep their minds fresh and to take a break from work.

ExpertDB, An ‘Uber for experts’ launches in 150 countries worldwide

ExpertDB, is an online marketplace, which is like Uber for experts/consulting.

The service just launched in 150 countries. In Asia, at the moment, it is available in Singapore, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Philippines, China, Korea and Japan.

The idea and process is simple.

  1. Companies, both large and small, often need external experts to solve problems, provide insights and drive deals.
  2. These companies can use ExpertDB to create confidential projects, that get matched to relevant experts around the world.
  3. The companies can then vet the experts (and vice versa) and if everything works out, hire their services for the project.
  4. Projects can be tracked/monitored and once complete payment is made.
  5. Companies don’t pay anything to ExpertDB. They pay the experts for their services. The experts in-turn, pay 10% of their fee to ExpertDB.

The company was founded by Phalgun Raju (an MIT and Harvard alum), who stated:

“During our private beta, we were working with Fortune 1000 companies and top management consulting and private equity firms who were hiring experts in our marketplace across an amazing array of topics.

Managers and investment professionals at these firms were hiring experts to do everything – from solving engineering and data science problems to providing industry insights or driving small M&A deals.

But finding the right expert efficiently was next to impossible and is a very inefficient word-of-mouth process.”

According to Phalgun, ExpertDB is different from traditional expert networks such as Expert 360, HourlyNerd and Gerson Lehrman Group. The main differences are that ExpertDB does not charge a fee to companies and is 100% online, completely self service & greater in scope.

The company raised USD 500K in seed funding, which it used to get ready for launch.

Information technology jobs in Australia, with a salary of over $120K

The Australian IT recruitment agency, Peoplebank, released it’s quarterly report of salaries and jobs in the sector.

In the previous quarter, salaries have improved steadily, especially for experience which is in demand.

Here is a list of the IT jobs in Asutralia, where you can earn a salary upwards of $120,000.

it saalries in australia 1q2016

These salaries include the basic component only and do not include bonuses, commissions or other allowances/benefits.

Virtual Fintech Career Fair/Event For Jobs in Singapore & Hong Kong (25-27 May 2016)

The inaugural edition of the Fintech Career Virtual Summit will kick-off today.

The event is an online career/job fair and aims to:

  • Facilitate a discussion of the current state and trends in the Fintech space.
  • Connect job seekers with employers who are hiring right now.

If you are interested in a career in the Fintech sector, this could be an interesting event to attend. It looks like they have a decent line-up of speakers and jobs.

The career fair/event is virtual and will be held online, which makes it convenient. It will last for 3 days i.e. 25, 26, 27 March 2016.

Attendees of the job fair/event will have access to tons of job openings from all over the world, including in companies operating in New York, San Francisco, London, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Hong Kong, Berlin, Singapore, Paris, Toronto and Montreal.

It looks like the timing of the event will not be the best for those in Asia. However, if you attend the event, let people know how useful it is (or not), by leaving a comment below.

fintech career job fair singapore hong kong

1.8% growth for Singapore in 1Q2016. Bleaker outlook due to 3 downside risks

The Singapore economy grew at a relatively modest rate in 1Q2016 (January to March 2016), with a growth rate of 1.8% year-on-year and 0.2% over the previous quarter.


Manufacturing Sector Shrunk by 1% YoY

Growth was bogged down mainly by the precision engineering and transport engineering clusters.

These 2 clusters were dragged down by poor performance of companies in the oil & gas equipment segment and the marine and offshore segment.


The Construction Sector Grew by 6.2%

Growth in the sector was buoyed by activity in private industrial building works and public sector construction works.


1.8% Expansion in the Wholesale and Retail Trade Sector

In the previous quarter, the growth rate was 6.8%.

The reduced pace of growth in this quarter was due to the wholesale trade segment.


Increase of 1.5% in the Accommodation and Food Services Sector

The better performance can be attributed to a 13.8% increase in the arrival of visitors.


ICT Sector Expanded by 3.2%

The IT & information services segment was mainly responsible for the increase.


2.4% Growth in the Finance & Insurance Sector

The sector’s performance was weighed down by the financial intermediation segment, even as the sentiment-sensitive and insurance segments experienced robust growth.


singapore jobs and economy growth 1q2016


Outlook for the Economy in 2016

The Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) projected a dimmer outlook for the year, mainly due to 3 downside risks:

First, in China, there is a risk that continuing reforms could have the unintended effect of a significant drop in demand. If this happens, China’s economy could slow down sharper than expected. The impact of the slowdown could also be magnified through the financial system, should debt defaults hike up.

Second, is the risk of quicker normalization of monetary conditions in the USA. If this happens, regional countries could face large capital outflows, leading to in pressure on their asset markets and currencies.

Third, in the Eurozone, uncertainty around the referendum in June on Britain’s exit from the EU, i.e. Brexit, could adversely impact sentiment and investor confidence in the region. This will result in lower investment and consumption. The loss of investor confidence amidst heightened political risks could also result in higher debt servicing costs in peripheral economies.

Domestically in Singapore, the poorer global economic conditions, coupled with the continued sluggishness in global trade, could bring down sectors which are externally-oriented, like manufacturing and transportation & storage sectors.

Continued low oil prices could weaken the position for firms in the marine & offshore segment, and those in the precision engineering cluster that support the oil & gas industry.

Sectors such as finance & insurance and wholesale trade could see a moderation in growth compared to 2015.

Tourism-related sectors could see an increase from the recovery in visitor arrivals. The biomedical manufacturing cluster could see growth in production because of the introduction of new active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Considering all the factors mentioned above, the MTI expects the Singapore economy to grow at a rate of 1.0 to 3.0 per cent for the year 2016.


singapore economic and job indicators 2015 and 1q2016

ANZ reducing headcount in Asia, closing businesses and disposing of $4 billion in assests

There was a time when ANZ Bank was aiming to create a strong regional presence in Asia.

During that time, the bank made several investments in the region, including stakes in AMMB in Malaysia, Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank, Panin Bank in Indonesia and a payments/cards joint venture with MetroBank Philippines.

The value of these investments is around $4 billion. Most of have not not provided sufficient returns and also present restrictions due to capital requirements.

Therefore ANZ will be selling these stakes.

Like many banks/lenders, ANZ is getting out of capital-intensive businesses at a time when banks are under regulatory pressures to have a larger capital buffers.


Earlier this year, ANZ stated that they would be closing the SME lending business in 5 Asian countries, including Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Taiwan.

According to some press reports, more job cuts are expected in the near future.

“For Asia…we’re at that point in maturity where we’ve built this great thing and now it’s just time for us to tighten it up, said CEO Shayne Elliott. “It may result that at the end of the tightening up, Asia is a bit smaller than it is today but that’s not the objective.”


ANZ will also be cutting 200 jobs in Australia, due to a bad economy and weak growth in lending. There will also be a freeze on external hiring.

This adds to an estimated 2,500 job cuts, made by major banks in Australia during the first half of the financial year.

“The roles are largely based in Melbourne and are mainly managerial and back-office positions in areas such as marketing and project management,” a spokesman stated.

300 jobs in Malaysia axed by UMW Oil and Gas

UMW Oil and Gas Corporation (UMWOG) will be letting go of around 300 employees in Malaysia, mostly from it’s rig operations.

More than half of the company’s drilling rigs are idle and awaiting contracts.

This is due to business suffering as a result of low crude oil prices.

The company is embarking of a large cost reduction effort and the headcount cuts are part of the this exercise. According to UMW’s president, Rohaizad Darus, most of the people being let go are contractual employees. The firm has approximately 730 employees in total (including both permanent and contract workers).

It will also be lowering the compensation of remaining employees. For example, senior management remuneration has been lowered by up to 40%, as compared to 2014 levels.

There will be renewed a focus on making inventory management, vendor management, capital cost/allocation and general processes more efficient.

“We have made the necessary rationalisations via the reduction in manpower, re-negotiations with our vendors, and reduction in capital costs. We are looking at more reductions, and we have already saved some RM18 million in expenses during the first quarter alone.

We are going to try to reduce it by a little bit more, but it will be focused on the contract staff and not permanent ones. This includes non-renewals of existing contractual personnel.

We try not to impact the lower (level) workers, because we understand the rising cost of living in this country now and we do not touch managers and below.

We need to ensure that we are efficient in terms of cost, to operate at the best level, and are able to offer competitive prices.” – Rohaizad Darus (President, UMW Oil and Gas).

DBS To Hire 1,500 People For Its Tech Hub In India

Development Bank of Singapore (DBS) is planning on opening a new technological hub in India.

The hub will be based in Hyderabad and will be the largest outside of Singapore.

The bank is expected to hire 1,500 employees at the facility, over the next 2 years.

“The new facility will be our largest tech hub outside our home market of Singapore. India was a choice market for this investment given its enabling ecosystem for technology innovation and access to a wide global talent pool,” DBS Group Chief Executive Piyush Gupta said.

Initially, some newspapers reported that DBS plans to move jobs from the Singapore technology hub, to the one in India.

For example, The Independent reported that – “One thousand five hundred jobs will be farmed out to DBS’s technology hub in Hyderabad over the next two years, said Piyush Gupta in a press statement earlier this week.”

This led to a wave of comments from concerned netizens in Singapore, on Facebook and Twitter.

DBS was quick to respond and clarify.

“To be clear, DBS is not relocating its existing tech operations to another location, nor does it have such plans,” said the bank in its statement yesterday.

It added: “DBS Asia Hub in Changi Business Park continues to be the group’s largest tech hub anywhere in the world, supporting its digital strategy. The new tech centre in Hyderabad is an addition to DBS’ operations as the bank expands.”

The Most Attractive & Best Employers in Asia 2016

Randstad conducts a global survey to gain an understanding of what employees and job seekers want from an employer.

The survey aims to provide insights on what makes organisations attractive places to work.

The results are published in the form of a ranking for 25 countries worldwide.

Here are some details of the results for countries in Asia (including Singapore, Malaysia, India, Hong Kong & China).


Best employers in Singapore


Employer Rankings:

  1. Changi Airport Group
  2. Procter & Gamble
  3. ExxonMobil
  4. Shell
  5. Marina Bay Sands
  6. CapitaLand
  7. RC Hotels Pte Ltd
  8. Resort World Sentosa
  9. IBM
  10. Keppel Corporation Ltd
  11. OCBC
  12. DBS
  13. UBS AG
  14. Millennium & Copthorne Hotels
  15. InterContinental Hotels Group
  16. Bank of America Merrill Lynch
  17. Pan Pacific Hotels Group
  18. Deloitte
  19. UOB
  20. Deutsche Bank

What employees in Singapore are looking for:

singapore best employers 2016


Best employers in Malaysia


Employer Rankings:

  1. Shell Malaysia
  2. Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS)
  3. Nestle Berhad
  4. Sime Darby Berhad
  5. AirAsia Berhad
  6. Hewlett-Packard Sdn. Bhd.
  7. Sapura Kencana Petroleum Berhad
  8. Genting Malaysia Berhad
  9. Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank)
  10. Public Bank Berhad
  11. Umw Holdings Berhad
  12. B.Braun Medical Industries Sdn. Bhd.
  13. YTL Corporation Berhad
  14. Berjaya Group
  15. Maxis Berhad
  16. Tenaga Nasional Berhad
  17. Sony Emcs Sdn. Bhd.
  18. Telekom Malaysia
  19. IOI Corporation Berhad
  20. WD Media Sdn. Bhd.

What employees in Malaysia are looking for:

malaysia best employers 2016


Best employers in India


Employer Rankings:

  1. Google India
  2. Microsoft
  3. Mercedes-Benz
  4. Dell India
  5. IBM
  6. Hewlett Packard
  7. Infosys Technologies
  8. Amazon
  9. Larsen & Toubro
  10. ONGC
  11. Oracle
  12. SBI
  13. Tata Consultancy Services
  14. Indian Oil Corporation
  15. Samsung India
  16. Taj Group of Hotels
  17. Tata Motors
  18. Accenture
  19. Hindustan Unilever
  20. Cadbury India

What employees in India are looking for:

best employers in india 2016


Best employers in Hong Kong


Employer Rankings:

  1. CLP
  2. MTR
  3. Ocean Park Corporation
  4. Cathay Pacific
  5. Disneyland
  6. Swire Properties
  7. HK Electric
  8. Hong Kong Jockey Club
  9. Sun Hung Kai Properties
  10. Deutsche Bank
  11. Morgan Stanley
  12. J.P. Morgan
  13. Dragonair
  14. IBM
  15. Hang Seng Bank
  16. UBS Bank
  17. Jardine Schindler
  18. Goldman Sachs
  19. Jardine Aviation Services (JASL & JATS)
  20. HSBC

What employees in Hong Kong are looking for:

best employers hong kong 2016


Best employers in China


Employer Rankings:

  1. IMB
  2. INTEL
  3. ABB
  4. ALIBABA GROUP
  5. BAYER
  6. TECENT
  7. ROYAL DUTCH SHELL
  8. BAIDU
  9. HUAWEI
  10. GENERAL ELECTRIC
  11. BASF
  12. STANDARD CHARTERED
  13. CHINA MERCHANTS BANK
  14. BOEING
  15. SIEMENS
  16. THYSSENKRUPP
  17. CONTINENTAL
  18. LENOVO
  19. ROBERT BOSCH
  20. DELL

What employees in China are looking for:

best employers in china 2016


For more information on the survey and in-depth country profiles, head over to the Randstad website.

Asian Universities climb up the ranking ladder

Each year, a survey is conducted to assess universities worldwide.

The results of this survey are compiled to form the Times Higher Education reputation rankings.

This list ranks the best Universities in the world from 1 to 800.


First, let’s go over the list of the top 10 performing universities:

  1. Harvard University, United States
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
  3. Stanford University, United States
  4. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
  5. University of Oxford, United Kingdom
  6. University of California, Berkeley, United States
  7. Princeton University, United States
  8. Yale University, United States
  9. Columbia University, United States
  10. California Institute of Technology, United States

United States at the Top

Clearly, the United States is dominating the World University Rankings with eight institutions in the top 10.

Officials in the United Kingdom point out lack of funding and immigration issues, as causes for the drop in ranking for their two top schools.

Cambridge and Oxford both lost two spots from last year’s rankings to the current list.

However, the presence of the United Kingdom in the top 100 ranked schools is still strong with 10 Universities making the list.

Two UK schools, the University of Bristol and Durham University, dropped out of the top 100 this year.


An important factor to consider in this year’s list of rankings is the rise of Asian universities

These are the top-rated Asian universities on this year’s list:

12) University of Tokyo, Japan

18) Tsinghua University, China

21) Peking University, China

26) National University of Singapore, Singapore

As Western countries have slowed the influx of foreign students and immigrants due to security concerns, Asian universities are recognizing the need to boost the reputations of their schools.

This has resulted in an increase in published works from the faculties of Asian universities, and an increased focus on research funding.

Many Asian schools are now basing pay raises on publishing and research performance for their faculty members.

As Asian economic power continues to grow, the increasing demand for high-quality education grows along with it.

Look for this trend to continue in the near future.


Australian universities also on the Rise

When we look closely at the Times Higher Education World University Rankings as a whole (the top 800), there are several more conclusions we can draw from the data.

There are more countries included in the ranking list than ever before, with 28 countries in the top 200, and 48 countries in the overall list.

Australia is a country that performed especially well in this year’s list of rankings.

They have 31 universities total in the overall list.  Eight of their universities made the top 200, while fourteen more fell into the 200 to 400 range.

Three Australian universities to make the list for the first time are The University of Southern Queensland, RMIT University, and the University of Canberra.

Australian authorities credit an increased focus on attracting researchers and research dollars, with raising performance on this year’s list.


India and China

China performed well with a whopping 37 universities named to the top 800 list.

India had seventeen institutions named to the list, with two in the top 400.  India’s top two schools are the Indian Institute of Science and the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay.


Newcomers – Malaysia & Indonesia

One country that cracked the coveted list for the first time is Malaysia.

Five Malaysian schools were named to the top 800.  They are the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Universiti Teknologi MARA, and Universiti Sains Malaysia.

Industry experts point to an increase in published articles by faculty and improving the quality of research activities, as the central drivers to Malaysia’s increased performance on the list.

Malaysia has also recently rolled out a project to emphasize research at higher education institutions, to catch up with Thailand and Singapore.

To encourage research dollars even further, the Malaysian government has been withdrawing funding to force schools to find alternate funding in the form of research grants.  If Malaysia continues on its present course, future performance on the list should continue to improve.

Another newcomer to the list is Indonesia, whose University of Indonesia made the list ranked at 601.  Indonesia also seeks to replace government funding, which is currently 33 percent of all funding for higher education, with money from industry.

Indonesia is focusing on the fields of computer science and engineering as a source for much-needed investment.  Indonesia has a particularly bright future, especially in manufacturing.  The country is modeling itself after China and South Korea as it seeks a modern economy with world-class universities.