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Standard Chartered and Citigroup 'begin hiring again'

Standard Chartered and Citigroup are among the Wall Street firms beginning to take on staff once again as the bond market begins to make a resurgence, according to media reports.

According to a Reuters report, data from outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc shows that around 14,000 jobs are in the offing on Wall Street as firms including Wells Fargo start to add to their staff numbers.

Since August 2007 financial companies in New York have axed almost 200,000 jobs as the financial crisis worsened.

But the big banks are now fighting for market position as bond issuance and trading increases.

High yield bond issuance is at $109.7 billion so far in 2009, a figure that is almost treble that of 2007, according to Thomson Reuters data.

Investment grade bonds have meanwhile reached a collective total, excluding those made by financial issuers, of more than $990 billion so far in this calendar year, making it the busiest nine months on record.

But news of potential hiring at Citigroup comes as something of a surprise after industry analysts predicted the bank was set to announce its sixth unprofitable quarter in the past two years, with losses expected to have been more than $2.5 billion over the past three months.

Standard Chartered is believed to be in a stronger position as it is highly leveraged to global trade, which is predicted to recover by 2011, and has seen its shares rise by almost 20 per cent since July 2009, reports the Daily Telegraph.

It also has strong investments across Asian markets which are predicted to recover more quickly than Western ones.

But the bank has recently shown caution over assets valuations in Asia.

Earlier this week Standard Chartered walked away from a deal to buy the Asian assets of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

By Tony Aynsley