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Australia readies for first privately-owned Chinese bank – Published 13 February 2015

chinese bank in Australia

A Sydney-based investment management company is planning to set up the first privately-owned Chinese bank in Australia, catering to the rising numbers of wealthy Chinese people living and investing in the country, a senior executive said on Friday.

It will raise close to A$200 million ($155.7 million) as early as next week and is aiming at a start-up asset book of A$1 billion, project manager Howard Ting told Reuters.

“Rather than being backed by a government enterprise it will be backed by private Chinese individuals which makes us the first in the Australian market,” Ting said.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s crackdown on corruption is forcing many wealthy Chinese to move their money away from the prying eyes of mainland authorities, with Australia emerging as a major destination.

Australia’s two-year old Significant Investor Visa scheme, which offers residency to individuals who invest at least A$5 million in Australia, has more than 90 percent of applicants from China.

Chinese directly invested over $60 billion into Australia between 2007 and 2013 and China was the No.1 source of foreign capital investment into Australian real estate in 2013, according to the foreign investment review board.

The proposed bank’s parent company, Australia Capital Investment Group, will tap into its existing database of high net-worth individuals to raise the initial equity for the proposed bank, Ting said.

The company has yet to apply formally to the regulator although it has had some informal discussions through advisers Baker & McKenzie and PricewaterhouseCoopers, he added. ($1 = 1.2850 Australian dollars)

Source: The Real Estate Conversation Feb 13, 2015

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