Chinadaily / China CITIC Bank Corp Ltd, the banking unit of conglomerate CITIC Group Corp, said on Saturday that it plans to provide banking services in the Xiongan New Area.
The move came after top four State-owned commercial banks in China – the Bank of China, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the Construction Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China – won official approval to set up branches in the area.
"CITIC has been eyeing opportunities in the Xiongan area to get involved in the construction of the zone, which is of great significance to the country," said Li Qingping, chairman of China CITIC Bank. "CITIC Bank will provide smart banking services in the area, with more efforts in the high-tech sector, such as big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence, to help in the financial development of a smart Xiongan."
According to Li, in addition to the group’s bank unit, "the group will integrate both its financial and industry arms to help boost the development of this area." She indicated that more than 10 of its core subsidiaries, including CITIC Insurance, CITIC Securities and CITIC Construction, are drawing up their business plans for the area.
"The construction and development of the Xiongan New Area creates a huge financial demand that can by no means be met by the government alone," said He Dexu, director of the National Academy of Economic Strategy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. "To transform the new area into a special economic zone like Shenzhen, efforts of banks like CITIC are necessary."
Since the area is yet to be developed, it would be an ideal test ground for banks and other institutions to test out the latest technologies and also foster innovation in sectors like fintech, so as to better support the real economy, He added.
In addition to CITIC Bank, many other joint-equity banks, including China Everbright Group and Ping An Insurance Group, indicated their willingness to conduct business in the Xiongan New Area after the government announced construction plans in April 2017. Besides, China Development Bank, a non-commercial bank led by the State Council, has formed a team to further explore the Xiongan New Area ahead of plans to finance infrastructure projects in the area.
Jiang Xueqing in Beijing contributed to the story.
INGLES: CITIC subsidiary to provide banking services in Xiongan New Area
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