The fashionable Jiangbeizui CBD witnesses the growth of Chongqing’s financial industry. (Photo/Si Qi)
Chongqing- Since Chongqing was set to build of the western financial center in China, the city has made a number of records in establishing a financial institution system, by deepening economic reform and innovation, opening up and innovation of inland finance.
The 2022 China-Singapore (Chongqing) Connectivity Initiative Financial Summit (CCI-FS) will be held simultaneously in Chongqing and Singapore in late November.
There are 1,919 financial institutions in Chongqing, achieving full coverage of more than 20 types of financial institution licenses, including banking, securities, insurance, funds, trusts, and consumer finance, according to the statistics by September 2022. (Photo/Ye Hong)
1,919 financial institutions settle in Chongqing
On August 25, Nanyang Commercial Bank (China) Co.,Ltd (NCB) Chongqing Branch opened in Jiangbeizui CBD, kicking off its strategic layout in Chongqing.
NCB was founded in Hong Kong and opened its first branch of a foreign bank in Shenzhen in 1982. At present, NCB China has nearly 40 branches in the mainland. In the next five years, the bank intends to build the Chongqing branch into the leading and largest foreign bank in the western region with a first-class system.
“Chongqing’s ability to radiate the western region is in line with NCB’s strategic goal of expanding its business in the western region,” said Xie Mingquan, president of NCB Chongqing Branch.
Many foreign banks like NCB choose to settle in Chongqing. Data released by the Chongqing Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau shows that there are currently 16 branches of foreign banks in Chongqing, ranking at the forefront of China’s central and western regions.
Not only that, Chongqing’s financial industry sets a number of national and western “first” records.
For example, Chongqing has four financial leasing enterprises and one wealth management subsidiary, ranking first in western provinces. Three consumer finance companies operate in Chongqing, ranking first in the country.
“To build a financial center in the western region, we must first enhance the agglomeration effect and radiation capacity of Chongqing’s financial industry,” said the person in charge of the Chongqing Local Financial Supervision And Administration Bureau. “This requires a sufficient number of strong financial institutions.”
Building Chongqing into the western financial center, financial opening up is a significant part of the city to learn and improve. For that, Chongqing has spared no effort to explore in the past few years.
In March 2018, Sasseur Group, a major outlet operator in Asia, successfully issued Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) on the Singapore Exchange, raising 396 million Singapore dollars and becoming the first cross-border real estate investment trust in the central and western regions.
In July 2020, Chongqing was approved to launch a pilot project, allowing qualified banks and enterprises to optimize document review and simplify business processes when handling trade foreign exchange revenue and expenditure business.
In July 2021, Chongqing was approved to carry out the pilot of qualified domestic limited partners(QDLP) for outbound investment and obtained a pilot quota of $5 billion US dollars, becoming the first city in central and western China to implement this pilot.
The QDLP refers to projects where domestic institutions convert RMB into foreign currencies within an approved limit for investment into overseas equity funds. Advance procedures include a review of eligibility, limit approval, and regulatory supervision.
In early June 2022, the pilot extended to Chongqing’s eligible high-tech and “Little Giant” enterprises that can independently borrow foreign debt within the limit of no more than 10 million US dollars.
Statistics show that, since the implementation of the CCI in the past seven years, more than 200 cross-border financing projects have been implemented in Chongqing. Relevant enterprises achieved cross-border financing of 18 billion US dollars with a weighted average financing cost of 1.03% lower than that in China.
Green finance deepened
“In the process of building the western financial center, Chongqing has continued to deepen financial reform and innovation,” said the person in charge of Chongqing Local Financial Supervision and Administration Bureau. “Launching the digital Renminbi pilot is only one of them.”
In the digital finance, the Bank of Chongqing launched an online credit loan product called “Channel e-finance,” which was specially created for export enterprises relying on the New International Land-sea Trade Corridor (ILSTC). Based on the big data portrait and export accounts receivable, the product realizes the whole process of intelligent financing from online application and online signing to online automatic credit extension and online loan.
Chongqing is China’s first province-wide green finance reform and innovation pilot zone. Green Finance is a new format in the financial sector, emphasizing the green feature in addition to its general financial attribute. It provides financial support for environmental improvement, climate change, and resource-efficient economic development.
As a significant ecological barrier in the upper Yangtze River with abundant ecological resources and critical ecological status. the green element is necessary for Chongqing, a prominent industrial base in China that represents advanced manufacturing.
Furthermore, to promote the local financing capacity, in February 2022, the city launched the first regional equity market system and business innovation pilot in the central and western regions. In October, Chongqing Share Transfer Center introduced foreign natural person investors for the first time, landing the first foreign natural persons to invest in listed enterprise projects among all national and regional equity markets.