Tencent names new VP to fortify fintech

Business | Tereza Cai and Reuters 20 Jun 2019

Tencent (0700) named Lai Zhiming as its new vice president.

As Lai was previously responsible for the Shenzhen-based tech giant's fintech business in his capacity as chairman of the Tencent-backed virtual bank, Infinium, the move shows the group is reinforcing its fintech business in the Greater Bay Area through the virtual bank.

Tencent also announced it's cooperation with ZTE (0763) in 5G network technology.

Meanwhile, Lei Jun, chief executive of Xiaomi (1810), expects that with the expansion of 5G applications, the current dilemma in the industry will be alleviated.

Xiaomi aims to spend an additional five billion yuan (HK$5.67 billion) expanding its Chinese retail network over the next three years, anticipating a re-doubled effort by Huawei to grow its domestic market share.

Elsewhere, VISA's Asia Pacific chief executive Chris Clark said the company was very interested in the mainland market, and confirmed it has filed an application to the central bank to set up a bank card clearing institution.

He added that other foreign institutions have also applied for that. The clearing business in China's banking system has been monopolized by UnionPay so far, while the central bank yesterday introduced a regulation on the licenses for the bank card clearing business.

In other news, China's smaller banks and brokers are turning to stock exchanges to borrow short-term cash this week, to escape the typical end of June pressure in money markets, along with more recent worries over credit risks in the sector.

The volume of repurchase agreements on the Shanghai stock exchange, in which banks and other financial firms borrow money from each other using bonds as collateral, surged as borrowers sought an alternative to the over-the-counter interbank money market.

The cost of 14-day repo funds on the exchange spiked to 3.4 percent on Monday from average levels around 2.7 percent in the previous two weeks

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