The material on this site is for financial institutions, professional investors and their professional advisers. It is for information only. Please read our Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy and Cookies before using this site. Please see our Subscription Terms and Conditions.

All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Euromoney, a part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC.

Hong Kong: Shell-shocked

"I went into my boss's office to ask if I could have a new computer. He said 'no and, by the way, you've been made redundant'." This was the rather typical experience of a junior equity analyst at Jardine Fleming in the new Hong Kong.

His colleague, a director with the same investment bank for nine years, was preparing for a two-week holiday. She jokingly offered a reduction in salary as her contribution to cost-cutting. She was told: "Actually, your job is gone. It was a hard decision to make but there it is." Over the next few days, more jobs were axed. The pattern has been repeated at many of Hong Kong's finance houses.

While the territory's unemployment rate is still only 2.5% the Chinese year of the tiger has not got off to a roaring start. Only six months earlier, the financial services sector had been convinced that Beijing would guarantee the markets at least one full year of abundant profits to show how much better Hong Kong would fare after the British departed. But these calculations didn't take account of the Asian crisis. Now, the mood everywhere is doom and gloom as retrenchment has begun in earnest.

You have reached premium content. Please log in to continue reading.

Read beyond the headlines with Euromoney

For over 50 years, our readers have looked to Euromoney to stay informed about the issues that matter in the international banking and financial markets. Find out more about our different levels of access below.


Unlimited access to and

Expert comment, long reads and in-depth analysis interviews with senior finance professionals

Access the results of our market-leading annual surveys across core financial services

Access the results of our annual awards, including the world-renowned Awards for Excellence

Your print copy of Euromoney magazine delivered monthly

£73.75 per month

Billed Annually


Unlimited access to and, including our top stories, long reads, expert analysis, and the results of our annual surveys and awards

Sign up to any of our newsletters, curated by our editors


Already a user?

We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree