The banking licences being granted to private companies in China look set to shake up the country's financial sector, with its 'big four' lenders coming under pressure from tech-savvy newcomers with a strong customer network, such as Alibaba and Tencent.
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As the wealth of Asia-Pacific's high-net-worth individuals continues to swell, so too does the size and reputation of the region's private banking industry. This is leading to speculation about whether its two main hubs – Singapore and Hong Kong – may be growing to such status that one day they will replace Switzerland as the global private banking capital.
Hong Kong’s banks are unfazed by the student protests that have captured the world’s attention. Bankers remain upbeat about prospects for the continuing internationalisation of the renminbi, the maturing dim sum market and Hong Kong’s inclusion in China’s growth plans.
Former chief secretary of Hong Kong, Anson Chan, tells Stefania Palma about the difficulties facing pan-democratic parties in Hong Kong, and defends the city-state's political protesters, saying that universal suffrage is long overdue.
Despite the plunge in the value of the renminbi earlier this year and growing concerns over China's long-term growth, the offshore renminbi bond market shows no signs of slowing down. Issuance volumes continue increasing annually, but most importantly the market is becoming more sophisticated.
The Chinese government and the People’s Bank of China are yet to disclose the formal details concerning China’s International Payment Platform, but there is little doubt that the new system will fundamentally change the renminbi clearing market as well as the future of offshore renminbi hubs.
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