Maybank today officially opened its Beijing Branch, making it the third branch for the banking Group in the Greater China region, after Hong Kong and Shanghai.
The branch was officially opened by the Deputy Governor, Bank Negara Malaysia, Dato’ Muhammad Ibrahim; Malaysian Ambassador to People’s Republic of China, Datuk Iskandar Sarudin; Mr Gan Jin Zhong, Executive Deputy District Head of Beijing Chaoyang District and Mr Liang Liang, Assistant to the Director, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Financial Work, at a dinner reception held at the China World Hotel, Beijing. Also present were Maybank Chairman Tan Sri Megat Zaharuddin Megat Mohd Nor, President & CEO Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid Omar as well as senior management, clients, business partners and government officials of Beijing.
Speaking at a press conference in conjunction with the opening, Dato’ Sri Abdul Wahid said that the opening of the Beijing branch was a strategic and timely move given Maybank’s aim to boost its Greater China operations on the back of robust ASEAN-China trade.
“Two-way trade between ASEAN and China has been increasing rapidly, reaching USD363 billion in 2011. Malaysia’s bilateral trade alone with China has been growing at over 22% (CAGR) since 2000 reaching USD90 Billion in 2011,” said Dato’ Sri Wahid.
"Maybank Greater China has put in place a strong cross border wholesale banking business platform through which we have been tapping into business and investment flows. It has achieved significant growth in profits over the years, and currently ranks third in terms of profit before tax contribution to the Group's overseas operations, after Singapore and Indonesia."
Maybank’s foray into Greater China began with the opening of its Hong Kong branch in 1962, primarily to serve Malaysian businesses in the island, and later to support trade and investment between the two countries. In 1993, Maybank was allowed to open a representative office in Beijing followed by a branch in Shanghai in 2000, the first by a Malaysian bank.
“It has always been our aim to expand our network in China and the granting of a license for a branch in Beijing by the China Banking Regulatory Commission in May this year marked a milestone for Maybank,” continued Dato’ Sri Wahid. “We are now well positioned to leverage on our three branches to capture opportunities in financing and corporate banking business within the region.”
Maybank Beijing branch has a paid up capital of CNY200 million (USD32 million) and will focus on wholesale banking services denominated in foreign currencies, primarily in USD. These include foreign currency loans and advances, foreign currency guarantees, trade financing, documentary credit & collection, foreign currency deposits and project financing.
Apart from targeting Malaysian and ASEAN clients with investments and business in China, the Bank is also looking at supporting profitable Chinese state owned enterprises (SOE) that have approval to borrow in foreign currency.
“We see our Maybank Beijing branch complementing the services offered out of Shanghai and Hong Kong. Together, we will be able to meet almost any financial services requirement of our clients – be it in Renminbi, Hong Kong Dollar or any other foreign currency,” he said.
Maybank Shanghai was granted a Renminbi banking license in 2003 enabling it to undertake all forms of banking services in the local currency apart from foreign currencies. The Shanghai operations also involves cross-border Renminbi trade settlement with special approval acquired from the central bank of China, Peoples' Bank of China (PBOC) in June 2011. In addition, it currently serves as the centre for the Group’s Greater China treasury operations. In 2011, the Shanghai branch secured the Ringgit Malaysia (MYR) market maker status approval from PBOC, and today, it is the most influential MYR market maker in the China foreign exchange market. In June 2012, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) granted approval to Maybank Shanghai to open MYR accounts for its corporate clients to further promote cross-border trade using MYR as the settlement currency. Maybank Shanghai is the first and only institution outside Malaysia allowed by BNM to open offshore MYR accounts for corporate clients.
In Hong Kong, Maybank offers a wide range of financial services covering cross border business in Transaction Banking, Global Markets, Corporate and Investment Banking. The Greater China platform has been serving ASEAN-based, Hong Kong and multinational clients for their inbound business to China, as well as supporting Mainland Chinese SOEs and Private Enterprises in their outbound business from China to ASEAN.
With the addition of Maybank Kim Eng into the Group since 2011, Maybank has expanded its range of services in Hong Kong to include investment banking, securities trading and wealth management business.
“Our immediate task now is to ensure that our clients in Beijing as well as those in the region who do business in the Chinese capital, will benefit from the integrated infrastructure provided by our Greater China business platform,” said Dato’ Sri Wahid. “Ultimately, we want to strengthen our capabilities to offer clients in China and the ASEAN region with the ability to ride on the expected increase in business arising from the creation of the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015,” he said. “By then our vision of becoming a regional financial services leader would also have been realized.”
The Maybank Beijing branch, which opened for business in July 2012, is located on the 32nd Floor of the China World Tower, the tallest building in Beijing. It is staffed by 20 employees, bringing the total number of employees in Maybank’s Greater China operations to 151.