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Asia Starved of Finance Professionals: Robert Half

There may be no better time to look for a job in Asia Pacific's financial sector than now as employers are on a hiring spree, according to the latest survey from recruitment firm Robert Half.

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The workplace survey of the financial sector found that 41 percent of companies in the region are looking to add headcount, while 9 percent expect to cut staffing levels. The survey conducted in Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand polled finance and accounting professionals as well as HR departments.

Hong Kong is the best place to look for a finance or accounting job in Asia.

"From a financial services perspective it's probably one of the better places in the world to be right now, and the demand for talent in Hong Kong is really second to none of anywhere in Asia," Andrew Morris, MD for Greater China at Robert Half International, told CNBC.

According to Morris, demand will outstrip supply, spelling good news for expatriates who are looking for a chance to work in Asia. That's a marked turnaround from 2009, when the global financial crisis forced financial institutions to cut costs and close high-paying expat positions.

Morris added that there is a talent shortage in the market and he expects to see more expats brought in during 2011 and 2012. That is also likely to put upward pressure on salaries at the end of 2011 and early 2012.

But there's also a price to pay for that well-paid finance job in Hong Kong.

The survey found that 68 percent of Hong Kong's employers expect employees to keep in contact with the company when they are on annual leave - the highest percentage of all Asian Pacific countries - compared with Singapore's 45 percent and Australia's 22 percent.

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