DBS Group Holdings Ltd. sees China continuing to be consequential for the bank even as the country grapples with headwinds in the short-term, according to the chief of Southeast Asia’s largest bank.
(Bloomberg) — DBS Group Holdings Ltd. sees China continuing to be consequential for the bank even as the country grapples with headwinds in the short-term, according to the chief of Southeast Asia’s largest bank.
The lender sees long-term opportunities in the country and is still investing in Asia’s biggest economy despite the ongoing property crisis, Chief Executive Officer Piyush Gupta said in an interview at the Reuters Newsmaker event in the city-state.
“Can I still find sectors and opportunities for growth? The answer is yes,” Gupta said, highlighting electronic vehicles and technology among the industries the bank is positive on. “You’ve got to be nimble and make sure you focus on the right opportunities.”
DBS echoes the hope in China shared earlier this week by another Singapore giant GIC Pte. with the sovereign wealth fund saying it’s “doubling down” on some sectors as the country remains investable. Gupta acknowledged there’s no immediate “quick fix” for the ongoing crisis in the property sector, which makes up some 30% of China’s economy.
DBS halted property financing in China about three to four years ago as well as slowed the pace of growing its credit exposure and loan book in the country as the bank had anticipated the slower cycle, Gupta said.
The Singapore-based bank bank remains interested to increase its 13% stake in Shenzhen Rural Commercial Bank, Gupta said, without elaborating on how large he would like the shareholding to be.
Under his leadership since November 2009, DBS has expanded operations in India, Taiwan, and mainland China through acquisitions and organic growth. Gupta has also beefed up the bank’s wealth management business, which is now one of the largest in Asia in terms of assets under management.
Here are other comments Gupta made:
- Bank will allocate more capital to Greater China, India and Indonesia
- Remains interested in ‘bolt-on’ acquisitions in Indonesia, though high valuation of bank assets means current strategy is to grow by its own means
- Sees more fund flows into Singapore from various places; wealth management will become larger at the bank
- IPO markets may not come back this year
–With assistance from Yi Wei Wong.
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