In Focus
BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, China

China still a gold mine for foreign banks

Foreign banks still look towards revenue growth of 20% in China despite the country’s unnerving economic slowdown.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said the growth will take place over a period of three years. A survey by the world’s largest accounting firm showed that foreign banks are targeting four growth areas: financial institutions, multinational corporations, state-owned enterprises and private-owned enterprises. The debt capital market is expected to offer the greatest opportunity, however.

PwC said that the 181 foreign banks in China reported their combined revenue rose from US$1.22 billion in 2010 to US$2.6 billion in 2011. These banks also saw their profits double in 2011, and expect at least 20% annual revenue growth over the next three years despite the pessimistic economic outlook.

Total assets of all foreign banks grew 24% to US$337 billion over last year, but only accounted for some 2% of the banking sector’s total assets. This share, however, compares to a decline during 2008 that was the result of massive liquidity injected into Chinese banks after a massive government stimulus.

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