Hang Seng Bank to be prudent

Business | Avery Chen 10 May 2019

Hang Seng Bank (0011) said it will be more prudent amid the Sino-US trade war and maintain a progressive dividend policy.

Chief executive Louisa Cheang Wai-wan told a shareholders' meeting yesterday that increasing uncertainty due to trade tensions might negatively impact consumption and investment sentiment.

Chairman Raymond Ch'ien Kuo-fung expects Hong Kong's GDP to fall 0.6 percentage point to 2.4 percent this year, and mainland GDP growth to be about 6.2 to 6.5 percent -- lower than 6.6 percent in 2018.

The bank will be more vigilant to assess loans of the tariff-related sectors and will provide diverse products and build closer relationships with clients, Cheang said, adding the bank's quality of loans and business development have been doing well.

Asked about dividends, she said the bank hopes to keep a progressive policy this year, but the final dividend decision will depend on business operations.

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