Business / Economy

UOB officials tout Singapore as key yuan center

By Jiang Xueqing (China Daily) Updated: 2015-06-18 08:33

More Chinese companies may choose Singapore, rather than Hong Kong, as their first choice to launch offshore yuan-denominated bonds, as the Belt and Road Initiative promotes further internationalization of the yuan, senior United Overseas Bank Ltd officials said on Wednesday.

Wee Ee Cheong, deputy chairman and chief executive officer of the Singaporean bank, said he expected the Southeast Asian republic to play an important strategic role in the initiative, sitting as it does on both the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

UOB will also actively promote the wider use of the yuan in Southeast Asia, said Wee.

"There are tremendous economic and business opportunities resulting from the increased connectivity and influence of China," he said.

"UOB is strengthening its renminbi capabilities to support its customers as it sees more of them doing business in and with China."

Eric Lian, UOB's president and CEO in China, said the Singapore bank will work to raise foreign corporate awareness of renminbi internationalization and increase understanding of the policies involved in China's pilot free trade zones, such as the negative list on foreign investment.

UOB has created a specialized "Renminbi Solutions" team, which will utilize resources and expertise from across its network to provide financial solutions in areas such as cash management, foreign exchange, investment and hedging, said Lian.

Sanchuan Holding Group Co Ltd, a hydropower development and investment company based in Zhejiang province, has already used UOB's cross-border renminbi cash management services and other financial solutions, when it was looking to extend operations in Singapore.

"Through UOB, we were able to receive the relevant legal, audit and regulatory advice from its network of partners, which allowed us to be more efficient in our business expansion," said Sanchuan Chief Executive Officer Lin Jianhua. "The bank followed up on our requirements quickly to offer us tailored cash management solutions, helping us reduce our business operating costs."

The senior UOB officials also said the bank, which has 503 branches in 11 countries along the Belt and Road, sees the initiative as a great opportunity to grow its business, by helping more Chinese companies go global.Ever since the bank established a foreign direct investment advisory unit in China in 2013, it has helped more than 500 companies to set up branches in different countries and 50 percent of the companies are from China.


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