Hang Seng Bank expands renminbi business
( 2003-10-31 10:22) (China Daily HK Edition)
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Bank plans to develop trade-finance and personal-banking businesses on the mainland after securing approval to operate renminbi business.
Vincent H C Cheng, vice-chairman and chief executive of Hang Seng Bank, said the prosperous Pearl River Delta and the Yangtze River Delta regions will be the top priorities in expanding renminbi business.
Addressing a press conference in Guangzhou yesterday, Cheng said a Hang Seng sub-branch would soon begin operation in Shanghai's business area next month, which would mainly offer personal-banking service to increasingly prosperous residents.
More sub-branches are planned in other affluent cities in the Pearl River and Yangtze River deltas in the coming years, Cheng said.
"The Pearl River Delta has become the world's largest processing export zone, with export volume reaching US$62.6 billion in the first half of 2003; and 90 per cent of Hong Kong's manufacturers have already established a presence in the delta," Cheng said.
"The implementation of CEPA (Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement) in 2004 will open up new business opportunities in the mainland for Hong Kong businesses and we are expanding our service in the delta area to help our customers capture these opportunities," Cheng said.
Hang Seng is also seeking loan and project financing opportunities in China's inland areas in the future, Cheng added.
Cheng forecast that the mainland business would be able to achieve a rapid increase of more than 70 per cent annually in the next few years.
Cheng also indicated that his bank might join hands with mainland banks or hold stocks of some middle- and small-sized mainland banks; but refused to give more details.
Cheng revealed that Hang Seng's Shenzhen Branch had officially received the green light from the central government to start renminbi business yesterday.
The Shenzhen Branch is the third to receive approval for renminbi business; Guangzhou Branch secured permission earlier this month while Shanghai Branch got the nod last year.
Hang Seng Bank is also interested in insurance, Cheng said, adding that studies are being conducted on how it can enter the sector.
Hang Seng Bank has five branches and two representative offices on the
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