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  Home > National


BOCHK to Open Branch in Sultanate


 


 April 20th, 2016  |  05:44 AM  |   4694 views

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

 

Investment from powerhouse China is expected to be made easier following Autoriti Monetari Brunei Darussalam's (AMBD) announcement yesterday that the regulatory body has approved for the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited (BOCHK) to establish a branch in the country.

 

On the sidelines of an event to welcome the Russian business delegation currently visiting Brunei yesterday, Dato Paduka Dr. Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Deputy Minister of Finance, explained that BOCHK's entry into the Bruneian economy would make it easier for Chinese businesses to conduct trade in the Sultanate, pointing that, "They now have a bank from China here in Brunei that can facilitate their investments."

 

The entry of BOCHK, he stressed, is in no relation to HSBC's winding down operations in the country reminding that HSBC's decision is based on its global restructuring.

 

"BOCHK's coming to Brunei is another vote of confidence in our economy for them to do business here so we shouldn't link the two together. The bank's decision to enter Brunei is encouraging and we hope that they will be here to stay for the longer term," he emphasised.

 

In earlier reports, Brunei's trade relationship with China has increased two to three folds over the last decade with 2013 seeing figures between the Sino-Brunei relationship at USD1.8 billion that reflected high-rising Chinese investment in the country in various sectors including infrastructure, fisheries, agriculture as well as in the oil and gas industry.

 

Among the more significant investments in Brunei include China's Hengyi labelled as a milestone project for both Brunei and the privately owned company that was established in 1994. Hengyi's presence here in the country, particularly for Pulau Muara Besar due to reach completion in 2018, is the largest overseas investment by a privately owned Chinese company that isn't just banking in on services that Brunei has to offer but also developing Brunei's human resource through scholarship schemes for young Bruneians.

 

With concerns surrounding the fate of HSBC's employees, it was explained that policies to prioritise locals first in the banking industry will come under AMBD's purview but it was assured that, "For any business they would want to also look at hiring locals," with the consideration of, among others, cost.

 

Though the bank's plans for Brunei has yet to be announced but once they set up in the country, "We should know more what they plan to do," including its scope and size of operations.

 

Despite the current ambiguity, "We hope that they will do more here and use Brunei as a base not only for business from a local economy but also create opportunities outside Brunei as well."

 

In a press release issued by AMBD, it was said that BOCHK is a leading and reputable commercial banking group in Hong Kong in terms of assets and customer deposits. The bank and its subsidiaries offer a comprehensive range of financial products and services to personal, corporate and institutional customers.

 

The BOCHK is one of the three note-issuing banks and the Clearing Bank for Renminbi business in Hong Kong and has been accorded credit ratings of A, A+ and Aa3 respectively by Fitch IBCA, Moody's and Standard & Poors. Based on its audited financial statements for 2015, BOCHK's total assets amounted to HKD2.4 trillion (BND414 billion) while its total capital funds stood at HKD198 billion (BND35 billion).

 

The BOCHK Group has been listed as the fourth largest bank worldwide in terms of Tier One Capital and the seventh largest bank in terms of assets, according to The Banker in 2015.

 

"AMBD views the establishment of a banking presence by BOCHK in Brunei Darussalam as a positive boost for the local economy, in line with AMBD's strategic plan to welcome reputable financial institutions to operate in Brunei Darussalam. This will also help to spur vibrant and healthy competition among the market players in the country's banking industry."

 


 

Source:
@BRUDIRECT.COM

by BruDirect.com

 

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