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Middle East bankers and finance executives looking for new jobs



Dubai: Bankers and other financial professionals in the Middle East are seeking new jobs even as those reporting an increased bonus for 2013 was higher than in other global financial centres, according to eFinancialCareers.

Almost 60 per cent of the region's financial services employees plan to change position this year, with 45 per cent saying they were disappointed with their bonus, eFinancial said in an e-mailed report.

Bonuses rose for half of Middle East finance professionals, compared with 49 per cent in the UK, 47 per cent in the US and Hong Kong and 42 per cent in Singapore.

Dubai, which teetered on the brink of default in 2009, is rebounding as equity and property markets soar. Banks including Goldman Sachs Group and Renaissance Capital are boosting teams in the region and hiring bankers from the competitition.

"Bonuses have failed to meet expectations, and the level of employees looking for a new job is also worrying," James Bennett, global managing director of the financial services site, said in the eFinancial report.

"If employers can't meet their employees' bonus expectations, they will need to find new ways to strengthen the loyalty of their talent," he further added.

Tax-free
Base salaries for 52 per cent of the finance professionals surveyed gained, while 47 per cent said they were unchanged. A total of 44 per cent said they were somewhat or very happy with their base salary, according to the report, based on a survey of 532 finance professionals in the United Arab Emirates in March. eFinance, a financial careers website, said 223 of the professionals questioned knew the amount of their 2013 bonus.

The UAE, which consists of emirates including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, doesn't impose taxes on regular income or bonuses. Dubai International Financial Centre, a tax-free business park, is home to regional offices of banks including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup and Standard Chartered.

Junior bankers in the UAE are reaping almost 36 per cent more salary than their counterparts in London, according to a March report from compensation data provider Emolument.

Fixed salaries at the analyst level average $91,000, compared with $73,000 in the UK capital. Bonuses averaged $27,000 compared with $14,000. For associates, fixed pay in the UAE was $107,000, compared with $108,000 in London, while bonuses of $40,000 in the United Kingdom were about 29 per cent higher.

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