Citigroup is betting that Japan’s bond market revival will gather steam, drawing talent back and rewarding the Wall Street lender’s push to expand its debt business after the central bank scrapped negative interest rates.

"It’s going to be a very exciting market,” said Kazuhiro Nakajima, managing director at the U.S. bank’s local securities arm. "That should attract more talent,” he said, without giving hiring plans for the bank.

Resurgent activity in Japan’s $7.3 trillion government bond market has set off a competition among banks to poach traders from rivals, in a break from years of low volatility and staff attrition. Top-performing debt and rates traders are pocketing higher bonuses, unlike bankers doing other jobs in Japan.