Interview: Standard Chartered chairman optimistic on China's growth outlook

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, April 13, 2024
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by Xinhua writer You Zhixin

SHANGHAI, April 13 (Xinhua) -- China's economy is likely to keep expanding, and there is reason for strong confidence in its medium and long-term growth prospects, said Jose Vinals, chairman of Standard Chartered Group, in a recent interview with Xinhua.

During his seventh visit to China in the last 13 months, he also reiterated the bank's strong commitment to the country, emphasizing the importance of the Chinese market to its global business.

Vinals expressed confidence in China's medium and long-term growth, with the country's 5.2 percent growth rate in 2023 serving as a testament to its resilience and the positive impact of its growth on the global economy.

According to the bank's financial report of 2023, Standard Chartered made a pre-tax profit of 1.3 billion U.S. dollars (around 9.22 billion yuan) from China's onshore and offshore business, with a year-on-year income growth of 24 percent.

The bank's cross-border business has also seen remarkable growth, with a 42 percent increase in revenue from China's offshore activities, particularly the flourishing China-Middle East and China-ASEAN corridors businesses.

"We have started 2024 with good momentum and our outlook for the year is favorable," Vinals said, sharing a positive outlook for the group's business in the coming years, adding that multiple engines will drive the continued growth of the Chinese business.

The chairman sees the internationalization of the renminbi as a strategic priority for the company, with the bank providing a full suite of sophisticated financial products to support this process.

The latest Standard Chartered Renminbi Globalisation Index recorded a growth rate of 33.4 percent in 2023, the fastest rate of growth since 2014, indicating the strong upward momentum of the renminbi as a global currency.

"Regarding the future development of the renminbi as an international currency, it depends a lot on the continued development of deep and liquid markets for renminbi-denominated assets," said Vinals. "I think the world would benefit from having a more balanced usage of international currencies."

The international bank has committed to investing 300 million U.S. dollars in its China-related businesses from 2022 to 2024, covering areas such as digitalization, the renminbi's globalization and wealth management.

Vinals told Xinhua that the investments have been allocated toward establishing the bank's securities company in Beijing, expanding operations in Hefei, and other strategic initiatives.

"China is one of the most strategic markets for Standard Chartered," he said. "We will continue to invest in all of the areas where we can support the further opening up of the Chinese economy."

Despite current challenges, Vinals believes in the importance of globalization and sees it as transitioning toward a more balanced model focused on sustainability and inclusivity.

"There is no global path to growth and prosperity without China, and the world needs China, and China needs the world," Vinals noted. Enditem

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