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Asia CommentTaipan

A welcome boom in Asian capital markets

A Covid baby boom has come to capital markets.

It should not be a surprise that in 2020 many of us were forced to find new outlets for our pent-up energy and time indoors. I increased my drinking, while Tai Tai took up knitting. But it seems other married couples have been more pragmatic about their new-found free time.

It only takes a quick glance at social media to realise that it was not jigsaw puzzles keeping many young couples busy. Social distancing be damned, there are babies on the way!

I understand that several DCM and ECM bankers in Hong Kong are taking time off for maternity and paternity leave. Their new little bundles of joy were undoubtedly welcomed by their families, though I can't help but wonder how the banks are handling it.

The year has, after all, been off to a booming start for capital markets. As company after company rushes out to court investors, they may be disappointed to find that some of Asia's brightest minds are out of the office, having traded sleepless nights on the desk for those in a nursery.

Could the baby boom be a bust for the market?

I'm not sure how many more expectant parents there are in the capital markets world in Asia, but I expect there are more Covid babies in our future. As long as Hong Kong's pandemic restrictions keep us coming home before 10pm, many of the city's residents will be seeing much more of their spouses than they have in years. I know I have, although I don't know how happy Tai Tai is about it.

But it is exciting we're seeing a new flock of future investment bankers. Congratulations to the happy families.

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