According to The Courier mail today, BIG Chinese banks are continuing their push into Queensland, with another of the country’s top five lenders announcing plans to open a Brisbane branch.
Shanghai-based Bank of Communications will open an office in Eagle St on April 20, its second branch after it established an initial Sydney outlet four years ago. The bank has almost 2800 branches around the world.
The bank said in a statement that it “looked forward to the opportunity to grow in Australia’s New World City” and would target large scale clients in agriculture, mining and manufacturing.
“The big Chinese banks have had an increasing presence in Australia over the past five to seven years,” said PwC financial services leader Hugh Harley. “Their strategy is to support the two way trade between Australia and China, particularly mineral resources and agriculture.
Holding Redlich commercial law partner Carl Hinze said that after initially establishing branches in Sydney and Melbourne, Brisbane was the next logical market.
He said China’s ‘One Belt, One Road’ strategy will fuel massive outbound investment by Chinese companies in places like Australia.”
The strategy refers to the ‘maritime Silk Road’ connecting China to its Southeast Asian neighbours.
When asset sales were still on the agenda before the recent Queensland election the expectation was that Chinese investors would mostly be interested in infrastructure.
“Now the focus will mostly be on commercial property, tourism, agriculture and healthcare in Queensland,” he said.
Mr Hinze added that Chinese banks were serving large Chinese state-owned companies and private clients as well as big Australian companies.