de­layed in­clud­ing Chi­nese shares in its bench­mark emerg­ing mar­kets in­dex, a move that might have brought bil­lions of for­eign dol­lars to China's mar­kets.

For­mer of­fi­cials said most of the re­turnees left due to frus­tra­tion over their lack of in­flu­ence over pol­icy, lim­ited op­por­tu­ni­ties for pro­mo­tion, and low pay. Oth­ers spoke of re­sent­ment from col­leagues.

Some were ef­fec­tively forced out by the fall­out from Bei­jing's anti-cor­rup­tion drive, which led to salary cuts for se­nior staff and a cam­paign against "naked of­fi­cials" - those who move fam­ily mem­bers and as­sets over­seas in case the of­fi­cial is ar­rested. "They can get high pay out­side at lower risk, higher re­turn. Why not?" said Oliver Rui, pro­fes­sor of fi­nance at the China Europe In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness School in Shang­hai.

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