BMO Fi­nan­cial Group to step up in­vest­ments in China

Asia boss urges in­vestors to look at broader view, ig­nore short-term ‘noise’

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By JIANG XUEQING jiangx­ue­qing@ chi­

BMO Fi­nan­cial Group said it will step up its in­vest­ments in China, as the fi­nan­cial ser­vices provider based in North Amer­ica re­mains bullish about the Chi­nese economy in the long run.

BMO’s CEO Asia, Al­bert Yu, said the broader pic­ture re­mained com­pelling and in­vestors should not be dis­tracted by more im­me­di­ate mar­ket con­cerns about eco­nomic growth and non­per­form­ing loans.

“This is all short-term noise,” he said. “I would urge play­ers in the mar­ket not to let this noise change your de­ci­sions.”

In the short term peo­ple would con­tinue to see wor­ry­ing pres­sures based on ex­ist­ing trends in the economy. But the gov­ern­ment was tak­ing a num­ber of steps, ei­ther through the reg­u­la­tors or through all the fis­cal tools at its dis­posal, to solve the prob­lems.

“I think China will be suc­cess­ful in mov­ing to a more con­sumer and tech­nol­o­gy­driven economy. I’ ll take a five to 10-year view. We’ ll ride out the noise... we’ ll con­tinue to in­vest and we be­lieve we can gain mar­ket share by step­ping up,” he said.

Yu added that the fi­nan­cial group in the cur­rent cir­cum­stances was piv­ot­ing its ef­forts to­ward what it called “growthori­ented busi­ness,” in­clud­ing pri­vate bank­ing, trad­ing prod­ucts and as­set man­age­ment.

Apart from ex­pand­ing its off­shore pri­vate bank­ing busi­ness in China’s Hong Kong and Sin­ga­pore to serve lo­cal clients and pro­vide in­vest­ment so­lu­tions on the ex­ist­ing off­shore wealth of af­flu­ent Chi­nese, BMO is keep­ing an eye on the fur­ther de­velop- ment of on­shore pri­vate bank­ing in the Chi­nese main­land in the hope of tak­ing ad­van­tage of the mar­ket’s growth.

Yu said his group was in­ter­ested in tap­ping into more ul­tra high net worth cus­tomers and work­ing with part­ners to set up joint ven­tures. It could, down the road, be in­ter­ested in more as­set man­age­ment busi­ness, sub­ject to reg­u­la­tory ap­proval, he added.

In terms of trad­ing prod­ucts, BMO wants to be in­volved in the sales and trad­ing of ren­minbi do­mes­tic bonds in the Chi­nese main­land.

Shortly af­ter the Peo­ple’s Bank of China is­sued new guid­ance ear­lier this year, al­low­ing for­eign in­sti­tu­tional in­vestors to buy ren­minbi bonds through a di­rect mech­a­nism with­out quota, Yu met with clients in North Amer­ica.

They asked him how to get in­volved and he said BMO was try­ing to help them.

I think China will be suc­cess­ful in mov­ing to a more con­sumer and tech­nol­ogy-driven economy.” Al­bert Yu, BMO’s CEO Asia


Traders work on the Bank of Mon­treal trad­ing floor in Toronto.

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