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Aurex Insights: APAC Bulk – Mar 2022

The latest edition of Aurex Group's monthly snapshot for metals and bulk commodities in APAC is now available! In this issue, our team looks at the factors and events influencing the industry, including the awareness of gender pay parity issues for International Women's Day. As always, our team also covers the current market opportunities and recent moves.

What people are talking about

The Russia – Ukraine conflict has dominated the news and market talk. We at Aurex Group share our sympathy and stand by all people affected by this. The knock-on effect for the market from a recruitment perspective has been substantial we are monitoring the situation closely.

Cedar Holdings Group, the Fortune Global 500 conglomerate has been facing financing issues due to “dodgy financing deals that used fake trade flows” according to Caixin as the company goes into crisis mode. Cedar had started a commodities trading business in Singapore and China and had faced staff turnover issues in the past. Are we about to see another Chinese giant fall?

Hartree has completed the market’s first long-term Carbon credit purchase agreement by supplying Shizuoka Gas Group with credits over the next 10 years. With the producers and marketers, in general, calling for more end-users to use the credits rather than them being traded amongst the trading houses, will we see those that have a direct link with end uses being more strongly positioned in this fledgling market?

Iron Ore has had a volatile month linked to policy action from Beijing, with 10 international and domestic trading houses being summoned to Qingdao by the National Development and Reform Commission to help ensure stability. Anecdotally we are hearing a number of Western financial institutions that are relative newcomers to the market have been burnt already due to challenging trading environments.

What we are currently working on

  • Senior Base Metals Analyst (fund) – Singapore

  • Junior Physical Trader - Singapore

  • Base Metals Analyst – Shanghai

  • Lithium Origination and Sales – Australia / China

  • Ferrous Derivatives Trader – Shanghai

  • Accounting and Compliance Manager – Singapore

  • Technical Carbon Project Developer – Singapore / China

If you are interested in any of these roles, please reach out to us via the contact details at the end of this newsletter.

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International Women’s Day

Next week marks International Women’s Day and the theme for 2022 is #BreakTheBias with the following mission:

“Imagine a gender-equal world. A world is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated. Together we can forge women’s equality. Collectively we can all #BreakTheBias.”

In recruitment, there are many laws in place meant to help prevent bias during hiring. For example, many countries do not allow employers to inquire about marital status, familial statuses such as whether the candidate has children or elderly parents to care for, age, religion, country of origin, or disability status. However, there are few laws in place to dictate gender-equal salaries, bonuses, and long-term incentive packages (LTIP).

In October 2021, Aurex Group published a study done in conjunction with the Asian Association for Investors in Non-Listed Real Estate (ANREV). Through a survey, participants were asked to contribute data concerning basic salaries, annualised bonuses (2020 vs 2019), LTIP receipts and awards, health cover, and annual leave entitlements. These have been segmented by location, platform type, seniority, and gender for analysis.

There were some clear trends in the differences between male and female pay across the region. For example, basic pay for women across all levels of seniority trailed male basic pay by -7%. While at Analyst and Senior Analyst level, women earned slightly more than men at +1% and +2% respectively, the biggest gap occurred at SVP level at -15%.

While -15% may seem like a big number, the difference was even starker for women when it came to bonuses with women at SVP level earning -35% versus their male counterparts at the same level, and women at all levels earning an average of -17%.

Not to be outdone, the LTIP category showed women trailing at an average of -30% at all levels of seniority with the greatest gap occurring at Senior Associate level (-58.3%) and never catching up to their male counterparts. Even at CEO level, women tend to make -39% in LTIP versus their male counterparts.

If you are interested in receiving a copy of our full ANREV report, you can contact us.

“A world that is diverse, equitable, and inclusive.”

While labor tends to be one of the biggest costs of operating a business and it is natural for businesses to try to keep operating costs low, I would encourage those in decision-making roles to make a conscious effort to consider equitable pay. Even if a female interviewee does not ask about LTIP, make it part of the offer for the sake of equality. Even if she is willing to accept a lower bonus percentage than the male candidates interviewed, offer what you would have offered them.

And then, follow up. Give the women in your organization assignments as challenging as those given to the men. Be aware of unconscious bias in the workplace such as giving men career-advancing tasks while giving women “housekeeping” tasks (think: ordering office snacks, planning parties, decorating the office for the holidays, being designated as the note-taker during meetings because of nice handwriting versus taking an active role in leading the meeting).

So, if you have not planned anything yet for International Women’s Day, maybe consider taking an hour or so of your day to think about where conscious or unconscious bias may exist in your organization and what actions you as an individual can take to make an impact.

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Market Moves

  • Linda He has joined Awin in Singapore as General Manager, previously General Manager at CITIC Global Trade in Shanghai.

  • Edward Schonfeld has joined Henry Bath as Director of Concentrates in Singapore, previously a Trader at Cliveden Australia.

  • Habib Esfahanian has joined ECTP in London as a Senior Ferrous Trader, previously in a similar role at Citibank.

  • David Chen has joined Trafigura as a Ferrous Derivatives Trader in Shanghai, previously with Cargill.

  • Terry Chan has joined BH Mining in a Senior Trading role, previously Head of Trading at Jiangxi Copper in Shanghai.

  • Burns Ye has joined Sinochem in Singapore as a Senior Coal Trader, previously in a similar role at Uniper.

  • Felipe Williams Ossa has joined Adani as General Manager Commercial – Base Metals, previously General Manager Sales and Marketing, Copper Concentrates at Rio Tinto.

I hope you enjoy our latest market insight for metals and bulks commodities. For a discussion around recent mandates, compensation, or other hiring trends, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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Alex Kerr
Director

Aurex Singapore Pte Ltd

alex@aurexgroup.com | +65 9007 2185

12 Marina View, #11-01 Asia Square Tower 2, Singapore 018961

EA 18S9493 | R1328009