HONGKONG (June 19): Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp is aiming to double profit before tax contributions from its business in China’s Greater Bay Area to $1 billion by 2023, its CEO Samuel Tsien told reporters at a press conference in Hong Kong on June 14.
This increased level of profits will be supported by a 15% per annum rise in loans in the GBA, from about $35 billion currently to some $80 billion by 2023. OCBC is also expected to see its headcount in the region rise over the next five years, from about 3,000 currently to 4,200. The group is budgeting to spend $200 million on its expansion drive in the GBA. “Of these investments, two-thirds is for IT and one-third for people,” says Tsien.
Last year, China began referring to a “Greater Bay Area” comprising Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau. Since then, the term has come to represent a broad initiative to link up nine key cities in the Pearl River Delta region - namely, Shenzhen, Zhuhai, Foshan, Zhongshan, Dongguan, Huizhou, Jiangmen, and Zhaoqing - with Hong Kong and Macau, to form a formidable integrated economic and business hub. The GBA covers less than 1% of China’s land area and it is home to less than 5% of country’s total population; but it contributed some 12% of China’s GDP last year.