Credit Expert to China’s Banks: Widen Scope – Kate Williams

Currently, Chinese banks are in a transitional phase as the entire industry undergoes reform. Most recently, three senior Chinese government officials have recently been reassigned to head large commercial banks. From the Financial Times today, we learned that China Everbright Bank, the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and the Agricultural Bank of China, are all assigned or will be assigned new leaders:

Tang Shuangning, vice-chairman of the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC), will be named chairman of China Everbright Group and its subsidiary China Everbright Bank, sources confirmed on Thursday.

Meanwhile Xu Feng, a director at the CBRC, has been named president of the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, which is 3.8 per cent owned by Citigroup.

Xiang Junbo, deputy governor of the People’s Bank of China, the central bank, was named president of the Agricultural Bank of China, which is currently undergoing restructuring as it prepares to follow competitors such as Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and Bank of China by selling shares to the public. [Full Text]

And in Caijing Magazine, an expert gives his view of how the Chinese banking system should deal with problems relating to the reforms in the industry:

To compete with global financial institutions, Chinese banks must broaden their scope to include small companies and retail customers in loan portfolios, the Asia-Pacific manager for Fitch Ratings said at a recent conference in Beijing.

Meanwhile, investors should not allow enthusiasm over China’s current economic boom to hide the realities of the country’s ongoing bank transformation, said David Marshall, a regional managing director for the credit ratings firm.

Chinese banks have retained their traditional focus on corporate lending. But the country’s big companies will increasingly raise funds by turning to the capital, equity and bond markets, Marshall said. [Full Text]

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