20 September 2018

HSBC Commercial Banking Launches ASEAN Desk Network

HSBC Singapore’s commercial banking division launches an ASEAN Desk Network that includes a China desk and three European desks located in our Singapore hub.

To further support its clients and prospects, HSBC Singapore’s Commercial Banking division has today launched an ASEAN Desk Network that includes a China desk and three European desks – Germany, France and the UK – all located in our Singapore hub.

In addition to servicing their banking needs, these desks will help minimize the barriers to entry for corporations looking to expand into ASEAN by providing insight on business conditions for investment, knowledge of the legal system and culture. Additionally, new entrants will have the opportunity to expand their business connections through client events organised by HSBC Singapore.

“The demographic dividend of ASEAN is a glittering prize for many corporates but the region is not without its complexities. HSBC’s 140-year heritage and pedigree in Singapore has been steeped in bringing British, European and Chinese corporates to South-East Asia, so we’re a natural choice for supporting corporates who are making their initial foray or further expanding into the region,” says Harish Venkatesan, Head of International Subsidiary Banking, HSBC Singapore.

“Supporting corporates through these trade and investment corridors is not a new concept for HSBC. However, we now have a dedicated resource to support companies from China, UK, Germany and France. They augment existing capabilities that provide coverage to clients connecting all three of ASEAN’s biggest trade corridors – North America, China and Europe,” Mr Venkatesan added.

ASEAN is already positioning itself as destination of choice for European, British and Chinese corporates.

  • Singapore is host to over 7,000 multinational corporations, with more than half running their Asia Pacific operations from here1

  • China is Singapore and ASEAN’s largest trade and investment partner. Europe is ASEAN’s second largest trade partner2

  • European firms view ASEAN (51%) as the region with the best economic opportunities, followed by China (26%)3

  • 75% of European firms expect their level of trade and investment in ASEAN to increase over the next five years4

  • ASEAN is fast becoming the supply chain  ‘factory’ for several sector strongholds for Germany, France, UK and China including electronics, textiles and automotive

  • The EU was Singapore's third-largest trading partner last year, with trade reaching $98.4 billion, slightly more than 10% of Singapore's total trade5

Singapore is entering a period of heightened trade liberalization as it awaits the ratification of the Comprehensive TransPacific Partnership and the European Singapore Trade Pact. It also  expects to sign the Regional Economic Economic Partnership. EU-Singapore trade is worth approximately €50 billion annually6 whilst China-Singapore trade is worth roughly US$66 billion7.

HSBC Singapore’s launch of the ASEAN Network reflects the importance of Singapore to HSBC globally. In March, HSBC Singapore announced a new three-year strategic plan which included a 10% increase in headcount over the period. The plan included the ramp up of its Commercial Banking’s SME business and to further capture international flows riding on ASEAN’s economic ascension.

In June, Singapore was also named as one of only eight markets amongst HSBC’s 67 countries that was classified as a ‘scale’ market where there is an ambition to have a 3-5% market share within the country and revenue of US$1 billion.

HSBC Singapore’s Commercial Banking business has subsequently built out regional coverage in Singapore across:

  • Commodity and Structured Trade Finance

  • Corporate Real Estate

  • Mid-Market Financial Sponsors (MMFS) - providing origination and relationship coverage with Financial Sponsors and client engagement across Asia Pacific

  • Client Origination - providing regional coverage for Capital Financing origination

  • Structured Banking - providing specialised debt solutions and cross border coverage across ASEAN

Mr Alan Turner, Head of Commercial Banking, HSBC Singapore, notes that, “Singapore is a scale market and HSBC aspires to be a leading domestic and international bank here. With the benefit of our ASEAN network and heritage, we believe we are uniquely placed to help companies expand both in Singapore and across ASEAN.”

1 https://www.edb.gov.sg/en/news-and-resources/insights/headquarters/scaling-up-from-singapore.html

2 http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/countries-and-regions/regions/asean/

3 EU-Asean Business Sentiment Survey 2018

4 EU-Asean Business Sentiment Survey 2018

5 https://www.straitstimes.com/politics/eu-singapore-fta-can-help-europe-seek-similar-pacts-in-asia

6 http://ec.europa.eu/trade/policy/in-focus/eu-singapore-agreement/agreement-explained/

7 https://www.scmp.com/news/china/diplomacy-defence/article/2112051/trade-trains-china-and-singapore-boost-their-economic