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Aurex Insights: APAC Bulk – Jun 2022

This month's issue of Aurex Insights: Bulk APAC brings you the latest news, events and hiring market updates for the metals and bulk commodities markets across the region! Our team breaks down the latest information on Singapore's changing Employment Permit system that will come into effect in 2023, and what that means for hiring moving forward. We also share the recent movers in the market and what opportunities are currently available.

What people are talking about

Tesla has agreed to a long-term contract to buy nickel directly from Vale mines in Canada. This falls well into Musk’s strategy of locking down non-Chinese supplies. Will we continue to see miners like Vale talk to more companies along the supply chain, aside from just car makers? Will other car makers follow Tesla and push to make deals with miners to get the security of supply?

Tata Steel will stop buying Russian coal at a time when other Indian steel manufacturers are trying to shore up the supply of discounted Russian coal. Is Tata self- sanctioning itself or is it because payments for coal purchases are almost impossible to make due to economic sanctions on Russian counterparties?

Chinese non-state refineries have been discreetly buying Russian oil at significantly discounted rates. With China coming under more scrutiny, is this trend likely to continue or lapse due to fear of US imposed sanctions?

Trafigura will invest a substantial undisclosed sum in a company called Green Lithium that is slated to build a lithium plant in England. Trafigura will supply unprocessed lithium to the UK refinery, which would then turn it into battery-grade metal. Will we continue to see commodity traders take more upstream positions and have joint ventures with raw material suppliers, producers, and plants?

Arcelor Mittal has successfully tested the use of green hydrogen to reduce iron ore at its industrial plant in Canada. More than 75% of CO2 emissions come from the process of reducing iron ore and the role of green hydrogen in this process is bound to reduce emissions dramatically. Will other steel makers adopt this success and incorporate green hydrogen in their own steel-making processes?

What we are currently working on

  • Metals Arb Trader, Singapore

  • Hedge Fund Base Metals Strategist, Singapore

  • Structured Finance / Project Finance Associate, Singapore

  • Agricultural Commodities Relationship Manager, Singapore

  • Cement Trading Manager, Singapore

  • Treasury and Trade Finance Manager, Hong Kong

  • Global Head of Iron Ore, Shanghai

  • Hedge Fund Portfolio Manager, Singapore

  • Structured Products Sales, Singapore

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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Changing landscape: Singapore’s new points-based Employment Permit (EP) system

Singapore will be introducing new changes to its EP process. From the 1st of September 2023 onwards, relevant candidates need at least 40 points under the Complementarity Assessment Framework (COMPASS) to pass.

There are four foundational criteria to determine eligibility: the individual’s salary, qualifications as well as the firm’s attributes of diversity, and support for local employment. 20 points are awarded if candidates exceed expectations, 10 points if they meet expectations, and 0 points if they do not

meet expectations in the respective categories. As an example, for qualifications, 20 points are awarded to candidates from a top-tier institution, 10 points to a candidate with a degree, and 0 points to those with no degree. Further, there are 2 additional bonus criteria: skills bonus and strategic economic priorities bonus. As an example, if a candidate possesses say technical skills that are not readily available in the local labour pool, then that candidate is awarded an additional 20 points. A summary of the new points system is shown below:


Source: British Chamber of Commerce Singapore

What is the purpose of this new system and what would it mean for the hiring scene? The goal of the framework is to continue to maintain and build on a strong Singaporean core labour force while adding value to the workforce diversity with high-quality foreign professionals. What this may mean for the commodities hiring landscape is perhaps an increase in professionals from niche areas such as traders and asset managers from asset classes that are not well understood and not traded easily

or digitally. Money managers who manage esoteric assets that require specific expertise might also add to the talent pool here. We may see a very different and diverse labour force next year. We at Aurex Group, encourage any discussion from clients who want to better understand the COMPASS process better and what it would mean for their business. We also welcome candidates who have talent in the above mentioned spaces, to come forward and have these conversations with us.

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Market Moves

  • Stuart Smith has joined ANZ as Global Head of Commodities in Singapore, previously with Citibank.

  • Chunyu Liang has joined Freepoint Commodities as Head of Portfolio Management, previously Programme Officer at the United Nationals Climate Change Secretariat.

  • Prantik Dasgupta has assumed the role of Country Director for the India Office at Coeclerici Far East in Mumbai.

  • Tan Jin Ru has joined MindID as a Coal Trader, previously in a similar role at Fortune Bay.

  • Churn Yuen Poon has joined ETG as Head of Treasury, previously in a similar role with Agrocorp. 

  • Johnson Li has joined Kitai Resources in Guangzhou as a Trading Manager, previously at Welhunt.

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.

Alex Kerr

Aurex Singapore Pte Ltd | +65 9007 2185

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

EA 18S9493 | R1328009