Wealth hub wins higher rank

Coastal city in Shan­dong rises 33 places thanks to lo­cal sup­port and re­forms

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - QINGDAO SPECIAL - By ZHAO SHIJUN zhaoshi­jun@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Q in­g­dao, a coastal city in Shan­dong prov­ince, has quickly be­come a ris­ing star in the global fi­nan­cial in­dustr y, just two years af­ter its plan to build a wealth man­age­ment pi­lot zone re­ceived cen­tral gov­ern­ment ap­proval.

Ac­cord­ing to the Global Fi­nan­cial Cen­tres In­dex pub­lished in Septem­ber, Qing­dao ranked No 4 on the Chi­nese main­land, only be­hind such first-tier ci­ties as Beijing , Shanghai and Shen­zhen.

The GFCI re­port was pro­duced by Z/Yen Group, a Lon­don-based mar­ket re­search com­pany and eval­u­ates ma­jor fi­nan­cial cen­ters in terms of their global com­pet­i­tive­ness.

Ac­cord­ing to the re­por t pub­lished in April this year, Qing­dao ranked No 79 among the 87 global fi­nan­cial cen­ter ci­ties ex­am­ined. But, af­ter less than half a year, the city moved up the rank­ings to No 46 glob­ally and No 15 in Asia. Its global rank­ing in­creased 33 places in just six months, the fastest growth among all the 87 listed ci­ties.

The Septem­ber GFCI re­port also in­cluded a “top 15 promis­ing fi­nan­cial hubs” list, with Qing­dao rank­ing No. 2. This shows the global fi­nan­cial in­dus­try’s great ex­pec­ta­tions for the city ’s devel­op­ment po­ten­tial.

The an­nual China Wealth Fo­rum is also help­ing Q in­g­dao to draw in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion, with this year’s ses- sion tak­ing place in the city in June.

Lo­cal ef­forts

The grow­ing global at­ten­tion on Qing­dao’s fi­nan­cial in­dus­try is the re­sult of the city gov­ern­ment’s de­ter­mi­na­tion to pi­lot na­tional fi­nan­cial re­forms, a solid in­dus­trial foun­da­tion, in­ten­si­fied open­ing-up and in­ter­na­tional co­op­er­a­tion, as well as the strong sup­port of the cen­tral gov­ern­ment and the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment of Shan­dong, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal of­fi­cials.

Fo­cus­ing on wealth man­age­ment, of­fi­cials said the city plans to ac­cu­mu­late repli­ca­ble ex­pe­ri­ences that can be used as mod­els for other do­mes­tic ci­ties and re­gions to achieve fi­nan­cial re­form.

They also said the pur­poses of Qing­dao’s fi­nan­cial re­form are to op­ti­mize fi­nan­cial re­sources by guid­ing so­cial wealth to the real econ­omy, and to cre­ate a sound in­vest- ment en­vi­ron­ment for both busi­nesses and in­di­vid­u­als.

Dur­ing the years since the es­tab­lish­ment of the wealth man­age­ment pi­lot, the city has made great achieve­ments in the field due to the im­ple­men­ta­tion of a num­ber of in­no­va­tive poli­cies.

Ac­cord­ing to the Qing­dao fi­nan­cial af­fairs of­fice, the city has pro­posed about 60 sets of new poli­cies for the in­dus­try’s fur­ther open­ing-up and re­form.

A num­ber of fi­nan­cial trans­ac­tion fa­cil­i­ties were launched this year, in­clud­ing the Qing­dao OTC Mar­ket Clear­ing Cen­ter, Qing­dao United Credit As­set Trad­ing Cen­ter and Qing­dao Soft­ware and In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices Ex­change.

Wu Ruo­man, gen­eral man­ager of In­dus­trial Bank’s as­set cus­tody cen­ter, said Qing­dao’s solid eco­nomic strength and its in­ter­na­tional vi­sion have pro­vided a benev­o­lent en­vi­ron­ment for the wealth and as­set man­age­ment busi­ness.

“This is why we chose Qing­dao to set up the In­dus­trial Bank’s first as­set cus­tody cen­ter,” Wu said.

Fast-paced growth

The city has been ex­pand­ing the scale of its fi­nan­cial mar­ket since the pi­lot zone was es­tab­lished two years ago.

At the end of 2015, Qing­dao’s wealth man­age­ment mar­ket to­taled 681.62 bil­lion yuan ($98.15 bil­lion), grow­ing 96 per­cent over 2014, ac­cord­ing to the city fi­nan­cial af­fairs of­fice.

The of­fice said that by the end of the third quar­ter of 2016, lo­cal banks’ wealth man­age­ment vol­ume to­taled 298 bil­lion yuan, an in­crease of 33 per­cent from the same pe­riod of 2015. The wealth man­aged by lo­cal se­cu­ri­ties com­pa­nies amounted to 243.6 bil­lion yuan.

There are also other wealth man­age­ment en­ti­ties, in­clud­ing pri­vate bank­ing in­stitu- tions, mutual fund com­pa­nies and third-party wealth man­age­ment firms.

Ac­cord­ing to the fi­nan­cial of­fice, the pri­vate bank­ing sec­tor in Qing­dao now man­ages nearly 100 bil­lion yuan of wealth for more than 10,000 clients.

The fledg­ling but suc­cess­ful wealth man­age­ment in­dus­try has played an im­por­tant role in help­ing Qing­dao res­i­dents to bet­ter man­age their wealth and help lo­cal in­dus­tries to raise funds for devel­op­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to the Qing­dao city gov­ern­ment, a to­tal of 4,307 projects were launched in Qing­dao from Jan­uary to July, in­volv­ing to­tal cap­i­tal in­put of 420.59 bil­lion yuan, in­creas­ing 25.1 per­cent and 13.7 per­cent re­spec­tively from the same pe­riod of 2015.

A large part of the in­vest­ment went to key in­dus­tries such as high tech­nol­ogy, lo­gis­tics, man­u­fac­tur­ing and mod­ern ser­vices.

Pro­vided to CHINA DAILY

A pub­lic hear­ing on the gov­ern­ment’s new poli­cies guid­ing fi­nan­cial in­dus­try growth is held in Qing­dao.

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