HSBC CEO Quinn says Chinese businesses stepping up offshore diversification

By Scott Murdoch

(Reuters) – HSBC Group Chief Executive Noel Quinn said on Wednesday the bank had seen a 70% lift in business from its Chinese clients looking to diversify their business models outside of mainland China.

Quinn, speaking at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore, said an increasing number of Chinese businesses were looking to build their international presence.

“I spoke to our CEO in China in the last week and he’s seeing a 70% growth in activity in helping Chinese clients diversify their business model outside of the land mass of China,” he said.

“That is an interesting shift.”

Quinn also told the forum that he expected more multinational corporations that are doing business in China to increase their investment in the Chinese market, to take advantage of an expected pick-up in domestic consumption.

“Multinationals are doing much more in China for China and still investing in what is going to be an interesting growth curve in the consumption market in China,” he said.

HSBC announced in October that it would buy Citigroup’s China consumer wealth unit in a major step forward for the bank to expand its business in mainland China.

The acquisition will help HSBC, Europe’s largest lender, to increase its presence in China, a key market as it aims to exit less profitable geographies and focus on its key revenue generator, Asia.

(Reporting by Scott Murdoch; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Edmund Klamann)