StanChart plans to incorporate in Hong Kong

HONG KONG: Global bank Standard Chartered may incorporate itself in Hong Kong as it commits to being a key player in China's banking sector, it was reported Thursday. 

The British-based company's chairman Bryan Sanderson told the South China Morning Post the bank was planning to incorporate in Hong Kong for preferential market access made available under a cross-border, free-trade agreement. 

He said the bank stood to lose out under the proposed closer economic partnership arrangement (CEPA) signed between Hong Kong and China in June that would give Hong Kong banks an edge over foreign rivals in setting up branch networks, providing the impetus for it to pursue a Hong Kong incorporation. 

“(CEPA has) already persuaded us to consider incorporation in Hong Kong and we are doing that,” said Sanderson. 

“We have been (in Hong Kong) for 150 years and we are very much a part of its financial economy... we are going to have to explore ways and see what we come up with, but incorporation is clearly an option,” he said. 

The bank has earlier said it was interested in acquiring a local bank but would not do so solely to gain fast access to the Chinese mainland financial sector through CEPA. – AFP 

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