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Friday beers: Weekly news roundup

This was a mixed week for employment with many unfortunately receiving or anticipating bad news from employers. Job cuts were announced by Grab who are cutting 5% of office employees and HSBC who will be reducing headcount by 35,000 world wide amongst others. We took advice from some HR experts in our article Preparing for job cuts : Insights from HR.

For certain roles and sectors hiring activity picks up with news that banks are once again in expansion mode. DBS, OCBC and Citigroup are ramping up hiring for data scientists and coders whilst UBS, Credit Suisse and Julius Baer amongst those hiring private bankers.

Some people would like to stop working and can’t: hidden from view the worlds 300,000 seafarers are stuck at their workplace at sea with crew changes impossible at most ports these last few months. Many have now been at sea for over a year and the situation is becoming critical and what some would call a humanitarian crisis. The International Transport Workers Federation announced this week that they will support seafarers who wish to go on strike. Any seafarers strike would be a disaster for global supply chains with potentially huge knock on effects.

Civil Servants in Singapore learnt that they would go without a mid-year bonus for the first time since 2009. Sensible move given that the economy is predicted to shrink by 5.8% this year according to the MAS.

MAS may also have noted the Financial Times feature on the woes of the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX). The FT sites a lack of IPOs and multiple companies delisting this year. Investors avoid SGX listed companies due to lack of trust in accounting standards in Singapore following the various accounting scandals they speculate.

IMD released their latest World Competitive Rankings and Asian economies performed relatively well with Singapore (1), Hong Kong (5),  Taiwan (11), China (20), Korea (23) Malaysia (27) and Thailand (29) all above the likes of the G7 members France (32) and Italy (44).

Singapore began its “phase 2” reopening today with people allowed to meet in groups of up to 5 and shops, F&B outlets and recreational facilities opening for the first time in months. Wherever you are in we hope you stay safe, stay healthy and enjoy your weekend!

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