Hong Kong Lenders Expand Footprint in Qianhai’s Flourishing Economic Zone

Hong Kong Lenders Expand Footprint in Qianhai’s Flourishing Economic Zone

In a significant move that underscores the growing importance of the Greater Bay Area, major Hong Kong banks are strategically positioning themselves within Qianhai’s special economic zone. This area, established in 2009 and located adjacent to Shenzhen, is rapidly becoming a nexus for financial innovation and integration, with policies aimed at closely aligning it with Hong Kong’s capital market by 2025 and elevating its financial system to international standards by 2035.

HSBC, known as Hong Kong’s largest note-issuing bank, is poised to inaugurate a new 25-floor office tower within the year, as revealed by Daniel Chan, the head of Greater Bay Area at HSBC. The firm’s proactive involvement in the financial pilot schemes of Qianhai, such as yuan cross-border lending and the Wealth Management Connect scheme, highlights its commitment to the region. The Wealth Management Connect scheme, tailored for the bay area, permits residents to purchase investment products throughout the region. HSBC’s dedication is further reflected in its increased stake in HSBC Qianhai Securities and the complete acquisition of HSBC Life China, signaling a strong commitment to the advancement of China’s capital markets.

The allure of Qianhai for Hong Kong businesses is evident, with incentives like a reduced corporate tax rate of 15 percent. This has culminated in a robust Hong Kong presence in the zone, with investments reaching US$4.9 billion as of July last year, accounting for 95 percent of the zone’s total foreign investment. The area also serves as a base for approximately 10,000 Hong Kong firms and has become home to over 75,000 Hong Kong citizens.

The Bank of East Asia (BEA), a storied family-run institution in Hong Kong, has also made a significant investment in Qianhai. January marked the opening of an 18-story building, representing a pivotal step in BEA’s regional business development. The BEA Tower, which came with a development cost of 1.4 billion yuan, now stands as the bank’s southern China headquarters and is indicative of its focus on wealth management and fintech within the bay area.

The opening of BEA Tower was celebrated as a landmark event by Adrian Li Man-kiu, the bank’s co-CEO, during the ceremony. The enterprise’s expansion into Qianhai aligns with a larger strategy to augment its services and support the transformation of the Greater Bay Area into a premier financial hub.

The strategic expansions of HSBC and BEA into Qianhai’s special economic zone highlight the region’s burgeoning role as a financial center. With the backing of advantageous policies and a blueprint for a highly integrated financial system, these institutions are gearing up to play a pivotal role in the region’s economic growth. Their new office towers and heightened activities in the area are a testament to their resolve to contribute to the Greater Bay Area’s development. 2024-02-22T17:24:17.556Z

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