HSBC Holdings plc : INTERVIEW : HSBC Still Focused on China Expansion -China Head
09/14/2012| 03:36am US/Eastern
By Caroline Henshaw
SYDNEY--HSBC Holdings Plc. (HBC, 0005.HK) will keep expanding its Chinese operations at a rapid pace despite the economic slowdown in the country, its China head said Friday.
Helen Wong, Chief Executive of HSBC China, said the bank has undergone a rapid expansion over the past five years and has no intention to stop growing its Chinese operations. HSBC now has 131 outlets in 41 cities across the world's second-largest economy.
"I think there's enough opportunity for a bank like us to keep expanding," she said in an interview at the sidelines of a conference in Sydney organized by The Australian newspaper in partnership with The Wall Street Journal. Both are owned by News Corp. (NWS.AU).
"Business will always face cycles," she said. "But our business in China has actually been growing very rapidly over the past five years since we set up our subsidiary."
Concern China may be on the brink of an abrupt economic slowdown have snowballed this year in the face of increasingly glum economic data. Figures showing imports shrank in August in particular have spooked markets and prompted Beijing to spend on a number of infrastructure projects to boost growth.
Ms. Wong said China's growth rate of 7.5% in the first half of the year was still strong and the government had levers to stimulate expansion.
"We do think that the government has enough bullets to stimulate the economy in both infrastructure investments or through monetary and fiscal policy," Ms. Wong said. "That should allow the economy to have moderate growth in the fourth quarter."
-Ross Kelly contributed to this article.
Write to Caroline Henshaw at email@example.com
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