Interview: With over 30 years in China, DBS Bank eyes China's long-term opportunities

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BEIJING, Feb. 29 (Xinhua) -- With more than 30 years of operations in China, the Singapore-based DBS Bank is eyeing long-term opportunities in the country, especially in the Greater Bay Area (GBA), CEO of DBS China Ginger Cheng told Xinhua in the latest interview.

The DBS Group recently obtained regulatory approvals to increase its stake in Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank Corporation, a joint-stock commercial bank in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, to 16.69 percent from 13 percent, according to Cheng.

"It's a good opportunity to build up a positional platform for us to expand into the GBA in the years to come," Cheng commented on the recent development.

The DBS Bank entered the China market in 1993 with the establishment of a representative office in Beijing. It subsequently incorporated in China in May 2007, becoming the first Singaporean bank and one of the first foreign banks to incorporate in the country.

Having joined the bank since 2001, Cheng has personally witnessed the growth and opening-up of China's financial markets. "This includes the continuous reduction of the entry threshold for foreign capital, the interconnection of financial capital markets, and the ongoing drive for the internationalization of the RMB," Cheng said.

The country's momentous strides in embracing the global community have emboldened the DBS Bank to actively participate in its opening-up initiatives and policy breakthroughs over the years. The participation has brought forth a wealth of new business opportunities for the bank, according to Cheng.

She noted the bank's involvement in the development of the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ) as one example. DBS Bank, one of the first foreign banks to set up businesses here, has been offering trade financing, cross-border RMB capital pool, and RMB offshore borrowing business to enterprises and financial institutions in the region.

It was also able to enter China's investment banking sector through the official establishment of the DBS Securities (China) in 2021, and was among the first to participate in the country's RMB Cross-border Interbank Payment System, Cheng added.

Looking to 2024 macro outlook for the Chinese economy, Cheng is upbeat about the country's growth prospects and its new growth model. "We believe that China's transitioning of structural reform focus from supply-side reform to demand-side reform may fit its current and next stage of development."

She also noted that the consistent trend of China drawing in foreign investment remains unaltered, thanks to its expansive market, well-developed industrial structure, varied innovation application scenarios, and substantial human resources.

In this regard, Cheng said that the high-tech industry has become an important engine for China in the attraction and utilization of foreign investment.

"Technologies such as artificial intelligence, biotechnology, blockchain, cloud computing, metaverse technology, and quantum computing, are advancing and transforming the Chinese society in fundamental and critical ways at an accelerated pace," Cheng said.

In its next step, DBS will continue to increase its footprint in China, according to Cheng. "We will expand, deepen and sharpen our coverage in focused segments, including technology and innovation, manufacturing upgrading and energy transition, as well as continue investing in related industries," she said. Enditem

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