DBS Bank to keep mortgage scheme

Business | Janice Huang and Bloomberg 12 Jan 2018

DBS Bank said it would not adjust its property mortgage plan but did not reveal whether the bank will introduce more plans.

Sebastian Paredes, chief executive officer of DBS Bank (Hong Kong), said the rate hike in the US will not seriously affect Hong Kong's property market.

Meanwhile, the bank said it expects the positive trend in 2017 to continue this year. Paredes said the bank's business is very positive at the beginning of this year, with a strong increase in the volume of its lending and deposit businesses. He expects growth of these businesses to remain unchanged as last year.

Paredes also said DBS Bank hopes to double the premium of its general insurance business in three years after entering into a 15-year regional general insurance distribution partnership agreement with Chubb in Hong Kong, Singapore, China and Taiwan.

Elsewhere, HSBC Holdings (0500) made a slew of hires from rivals including Goldman Sachs Group as the bank revamps its equities business in the Asia-Pacific region and expands a nascent majority-owned securities venture in China, people familiar with the matter said.

Among the recent additions are Michael Parry, who joined from Goldman Sachs as a director focused on Asian equity sales, the people said. Other hires include Liu Kang, who was at Goldman Sachs' Chinese partner Beijing Gao Hua Securities, and Jimmy He, who joined HSBC's equity sales team from China International Capital last month, the people said. Both Liu and He will focus on the mainland, they added.

HSBC has been rebuilding its global equities operation since appointing Hong Kong-based Hossein Zaimi to run the business early last year. A key part of the push is the China joint venture, based in Guangdong's financial free-trade zone of Qianhai, which was approved by Chinese authorities in June. HSBC owns a majority of that joint venture, giving it a potential edge over other global banks - although one that could prove short-lived as China prepares to relax ownership rules.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority issued a consultation document on the Open API framework, setting out its intended approach to Open Application Programming Interfaces for the local banking industry. The de facto central bank is inviting relevant parties in the industry to provide comments on the consultation paper.

The formulation of the Open API framework is one of the seven initiatives announced by the HKMA in September 2017 to prepare Hong Kong to move into a New Era of Smart Banking.

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