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Westpac opens in Shanghai Free Trade Zone

 

4 December 2014

Shanghai: Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) announced it has opened its first sub-branch in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone (FTZ).

Created as a testing ground for a number of economic reforms, the Shanghai FTZ will become a key strategic zone for customers wanting to increase their presence in China. The branch will provide deeper support for Westpac customers and leverage the opportunities expected to come with China’s economic and financial market liberalisation.

Speaking at the opening Rob Whitfield, Chief Executive Westpac Institutional Bank said China is an extremely important market for Westpac and our customers.

“The Beijing leadership has made it clear that its ultimate goal is to become a high income economy by 2030 with Shanghai as a first tier international financial centre.

“Westpac has been committed to China since the early stages of this journey, supporting our customers through the stages of currency and financial market liberalisation, so we are delighted that our Shanghai sub-branch in the FTZ will take this further.

“The closer economic relations built between the Chinese and Australian Governments last month reinforce the strategic value of the Shanghai FTZ. Westpac is well positioned to help customers capitalise on the increasing trade, investment and capital flows, being one of the first banks in Australasia to connect with the RMB Hub in Sydney, as well as our leadership in supporting CNY/AUD foreign exchange flows in China,” he said.

The sub-branch will be an extension of Westpac’s service offering in China across trade finance, commodity finance, debt capital markets, derivatives and FX, complementing the Bank’s branches in Shanghai and Beijing.

According to Westpac International General Manager, Bala Swaminathan, “We anticipate the volume of trade and financial activities denominated in Renminbi (RMB) will continue to build with many of these activities taking place in both the Shanghai FTZ and Sydney.

“Customers with business dealings in China and Australia can now embrace the benefits of dealing directly in RMB in both markets, particularly as increased liquidity encourages more finance and hedging activity.” Bala Swaminathan said.

Westpac has been operating in Asia for 40 years delivering a broad range of financial services to individuals, corporate and institutional customers with branches in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai as well as a representative office in Jakarta.

The Bank is one of only two Australian banks granted a market makers licence to directly trade AUD/CNY and NZD/CNY on the China Foreign Exchange Trading System. Earlier this year, the Bank was also granted a general derivatives licence to trade G7 interest rate derivatives and FX Derivatives for G7 currencies and RMB.


About Westpac
Westpac Banking Corporation (Westpac) was founded in 1817 and was the first bank established in Australia. Today, the Westpac Group has branches and controlled entities throughout Australia, New Zealand and the near Pacific region and maintains offices in key financial centres around the world including London, New York, Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore and Mumbai. Westpac Group employs approximately 36,000 people and has three key customer facing divisions through which we serve around 12 million customers.

About Westpac in Asia
With its regional Head Office in Singapore, Westpac is a leading institutional bank providing strong capability and global franchise across Trade, Structured Commodity Finance, Debt Capital Markets, Derivatives FX and Natural Resources. The Bank’s goal in Asia is to both support Australian and New Zealand customers in the region, as well as provide a gateway for Asian firms and individuals with interests in Australia and New Zealand.
Westpac has been operating in Asia for 40 years delivering a broad range of financial services to individuals, corporate and institutional customers with branches in Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, Mumbai as well as a representative office in Jakarta.