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Haitong opens Singapore office

China's second biggest brokerage, Haitong Securities, has opened a unit in Singapore. The office will be its first branch outside of Greater China.

SINGAPORE: China's second biggest brokerage, Haitong Securities, has opened a unit in Singapore.

The office will be its first branch outside of Greater China.

Haitong said it currently generates 10 per cent of revenue from overseas clients, and wants to raise it to 20 per cent over the next three to five years.

Haitong International Securities Group, the overseas arm of Chinese brokerage Haitong Securities, has started stocks and futures broking operations in Singapore.

It said it will also consider applying for licenses in financial advisory and asset management.

There are 10 people in the Singapore office, and the firm has plans to double the headcount.

Lin Yong, deputy chairman and chief executive officer at Haitong International Securities Group, said: "Being a Chinese securities company, we understand and have experience in the Chinese economy and financial markets. I hope this experience will benefit Singapore, and at the same time, we want to use Singapore as a platform to help Haitong International extend our competitive edge in the yuan business."

Speaking to reporters in Singapore, Mr Lin said the Singapore unit will serve institutional and corporate investors.

It will be a "bridge", facilitating cross-border transactions between China and Singapore.

Haitong has put in a capital of S$5 million into the Singapore office, and intends to increase this to S$100 million. No timeline was cited.

Haitong's foray signalled that Chinese firms are keen to gain access to offshore yuan markets as the country pushes to internationalise its currency.

Haitong said Singapore is an important part of its internationalisation strategy, and it has moved here to be closer to its clients.

Currently, Hong Kong and Chinese companies make up two thirds of its business customer base, with the rest coming from overseas.

Mr Lin said: "At the moment, we have many customers, a big proportion of customers from Singapore. We hope that being near them in Singapore will help us serve them better."

Last October, Singapore was given a quota of 50 billion yuan under China's Renminbi Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor scheme.

This means corporate and institutional investors in Singapore will get greater access to China's securities market. 

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