Finance to lift growth of Nansha district

Updated: 2015-03-27 08:23

By QIU QUANLIN(China Daily)

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Innovative financial policies for the Nansha New District, part of the newly approved Guangdong Free Trade Zone, would help boost financial cooperation between Guangdong and neighboring Hong Kong and Macao, leading industry experts said on Thursday.

Yi Cheng, deputy director of the research bureau of the People's Bank of China, the central bank, said a series of financial policies would soon be issued for investors in Nansha, following the central government's approval of a development plan for the Guangdong FTZ.

"Nansha will focus on developing financial services in science and technology and shipping industries to push forward overall regional cooperation, especially in the financial sector, between Guangzhou and Hong Kong and Macao," said Yi.

Yi was speaking during an investment conference in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong province. The conference featured promotion of a large number of investment projects in Guangzhou, with most targeting development of the Nansha free trade zone and the Internet Plus plan-a phrase used by Premier Li Keqiang to describe upgrading traditional industries by injecting Internet sources.

Yi did not give details of the innovative policies, but said that a number of preferential services have already been introduced in Nansha since last year.

According to Yi, cross-border yuan loan service, which was earlier piloted in Qianhai of Shenzhen, has been expanded to Nansha and Hengqin of Zhuhai, which allows Hong Kong- and Macao-based banks to provide yuan loans to mainland companies.

Guangdong companies have also been allowed to issue yuan-dominated bonds in Hong Kong and Macao, and financial organizations in the two special administrative regions have been permitted to open branches in Nansha, according to Yi.

Thanks to the preferential policies, Nansha has so far attracted more than 120 financial and related organizations, according to Yi.

Zhou Jianjun, director of Guangzhou Financial Work Bureau, said the Nansha free trade zone would concentrate on cooperation in finance with Hong Kong and Macao by encouraging better use of cross-border yuan business.

"More innovative financial policies will be issued for the development of the Nansha free trade zone, and this will play a significant role in fostering a new round of innovation-oriented economic growth for Guangzhou," said Zhou.

According to Zhou, Guangzhou has nearly 240 financial organizations, with the industry's added value growing about 22 percent annually in the past five years.

The added value of the financial industry in Guangzhou increased 13.7 percent year-on-year to 130.3 billion yuan ($20.97 billion) in 2014, accounting for 7.8 percent of the city's GDP.

Margaret May Yee Ko Leung, deputy chairwoman and managing director of Chong Hing Bank, said financial organizations in Hong Kong would benefit from the innovative policies for investors in the Guangdong FTZ.

Companies' demand for financial services including cross-border trade, equity trading, mergers and acquisitions and cross-border yuan settlement will increase dramatically as the establishment of the Guangdong FTZ greatly enhances economic and trade cooperation between Guangdong and Hong Kong, she said.

The Hong Kong-based bank, which was acquired last year by Yuexiu Group, a Guangzhou-based property, transportation and finance company, will expand its business by opening more branches and developing quality customers on the mainland, she said.