by Liu Fan, Huang Jihui
NEW YORK, Feb. 11 (Xinhua) — The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) will seek its own niche market to facilitate mutual investments between China and the United States, a senior manager from the bank said Tuesday.
“Our strategy is to find out our niche market and work out businesses suitable to us after we entered the U.S. market,” Bi Mingqiang, chairman of the ICBC Financial Services LLC (ICBCFS), told Xinhua shortly after ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in celebration of its NYSE membership.
In November 2013, the ICBCFS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the ICBC, became the first Chinese firm that obtained NYSE membership.
As an increasing number of Chinese firms and individuals are eager to invest in the United States, and more U.S. investors want to be involved in the Chinese and Asian markets, the ICBCFS will bring more opportunities to Chinese investors, Bi said.
He added that the ICBCFS aims to develop more Chinese clients while maintaining local clients.
He emphasized that the ICBCFS has a China desk to serve Chinese investors, which is different from other local broker dealers.
“Our major advantage is that we have a broad Chinese client base with which the ICBC has built up long-term partnerships,” Bi said, though he admitted its brokerage size is small compared with its local rivals.
In an attempt to avoid its disadvantages, the ICBC has managed to establish its retail and wholesale banking sectors in the U.S. market, he said.
The ICBCFS has bolstered the equity trading business quickly, he said.
“In the context of our global strategy, we will pay more attention to intermediate business with low cost and low capital consumption, not just strive for traditional credit expansion by the means of deposit, lending and remittance,” he said.
He predicted that the ICBCFS’s liquidation quantity of equity at the NYSE is expected to increase rapidly.
“There is huge room for the brokerage business since more and more Chinese institutions would like to invest in the U.S. market. I believe that we are bracing for a bright prospect in the equity trading and the brokerage business by market expanding,” Bi said.