Q: How long has Deutsche Bank been in China?
A: Deutsche Bank’s presence in China can be traced back to 1872, when the bank opened one of its first overseas offices in Shanghai. Today, Deutsche Bank is a locally incorporated bank in China, with branches in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tianjin. Hong Kong SAR has a DB regional hub, which in 2008 celebrated its 50th anniversary. In Beijing, we moved to our headquarters in the Deutsche Bank Tower in March 2008.
Q: How has your presence grown or expanded since it arrived?
A: Our staff has increased over the past six years from 50 to over 600. Deutsche Bank has revived its network expansion strategy last year and Tianjin was the first branch established since the new initiatives were implemented. We are planning to open branches in other cities in 2010 and intend to grow the branch network steadily. Deutsche Bank’s global core business platform is well-established in China and we are capable of providing to our clients the same financial services we offer throughout the world.
Q: What other projects are you looking forward to in the near future?
A: Despite the global financial crisis that forced many other international banks to withdraw their investments in Chinese banks, we have been deepening our commitment and increasing investment. Deutsche Bank Group invested over EUR1 billion in China in the past 24 months. We have many exciting projects going on at the moment, including our global sustainability initiatives. China has made the promise of cutting its own carbon emissions by 40-45 percent by 2020. Deutsche Bank, for our part, would like to contribute to this course. I will not reveal the details of the project, but I will keep you posted when we can announce it.
Q: How are you increasing your market share with former players including Lehman, Bear Sterns and Merrill out of the picture?
A: I would rather not discuss the details. I can tell you that the Asset magazine named Deutsche Bank "the Best M&A House" in China for 2009. It is a very strong year for Deutsche Bank globally as well as in China as one of the few major global financial institutions that weathered the global crisis without taking aid from government or raising capital from shareholders.
Q: How are you collaborating with local banks in China? What kind of investments do you have in local banks?
A: Deutsche Bank has been quite successful with strategic investments in China. We are a strategic partner in Huaxia Bank, a nationwide bank listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange. Deutsche Bank holds 17 percent of its stock and jointly runs a credit card centre with Huaxia. As of January 2009, over 700,000 cards have been issued and the Huaxia card is a major player in the consumer credit card market here. With Huaxia, we are also running joint staff training, product development cooperation and so on. We also have 30 percent interest in Harvest Funds Management, one of the country’s leading investment managers, and 33.3 percent in Zhong De Securities, which commenced domestic investment banking services in July 2009.
Q: As for your investment banking sector, do you have any upcoming plans for IPOs?
A: I know our corporate finance team, as well as Zhong De Securities, which was just opened for business in July last year, have helped clients with successful IPOs and have projects lined up.
Q: How well have your private wealth management services been received here?
A: Deutsche Bank has private clients as well as private wealth management businesses in China. Despite the crisis, we have been awarded "Best Private Bank" in China by Asiamoney, recognising Deutsche Bank’s private wealth management team for having "played the invaluable role in addressing the wealth management needs of its growing client base of entrepreneurs and wealthy families in China during the difficult market conditions seen in 2008". The award itself speaks to how well we are doing with this segment of clients.
Q: Monetary policy is currently being tightened: How is this affecting banking in China? What’s your view on the effectiveness of these policy changes?
A: China has done a great job during the financial crisis in managing this crisis and that goes along the lines of what they have done in terms of monetary policy and interest rate policy and this has certainly helped the banks in China. Deutsche Bank China, our locally incorporated bank, has enjoyed a strong financial standing since its establishment. As our economist predicts 9 percent growth rate for China in 2010, we are also confident of another strong year here.