Investment bankers can already earn more in India's major urban centers. Image Credit: Shutterstock

New Delhi: Finance professionals in India are in line for higher salary hikes than those in Hong Kong and Singapore this year, underscoring how firms are tapping the nation's economic boom as China slows, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.

Salaries in India could rise by 10 per cent in 2024, analyst Sarah Jane Mahmud wrote in a note Friday, citing survey data from consulting firm Aon. That compares with 4 per cent in the two financial hubs.

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HSBC Holdings Plc and Julius Baer Group Ltd. are ramping up their client advisory in the world's most populous country as they seek to manage a greater share of the nation's wealth. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. is also expanding and DBS Group Holdings Ltd. continues to grow, the analyst wrote.

Investment bankers can already earn more in India's major urban centers such as Mumbai and GIFT city, the nation's free market zone, than in Singapore and Hong Kong. The average base salary is 4.5 per cent higher than in Hong Kong and 7.7 per cent more than in Singapore, according to Bloomberg Intelligence's analysis of a survey by recruiter Michael Page. Private bankers' pay, however, lags behind by 50 per cent to 78 per cent in non-executive roles. As India's wealth industry grows, that gap will narrow.

"Salaries will continue to rise given the large demand-supply gap at senior levels, as will talent for compliance, risk assessment and technology," in India, said Amit Agarwal, managing partner at search firm Stanton Chase. Banks are paying more for heads of businesses, and salaries of over $1 million are common for senior leaders, he said.

While India has higher income tax rates and weaker infrastructure than Singapore and Hong Kong, the lower cost of living is a benefit, according to the report. The average monthly rent in upscale Bandra, Mumbai is $1.76 per square foot, compared with $5.29 in Hong Kong and $5.09 in Singapore, according to government statistics, the report found.