New Delhi: Punjab National Bank commenced commercial banking operations in Hong Kong on 17December, 2007 and had a formal inauguration on 30January, 2008.
The Hong Kong branch is a full fledged banking branch of Punjab National Bank and will be offering the full spectrum of banking facilities, including checkable accounts, deposit products, trade finance and loan syndication.
This new branch is critical to the bank’s strategy of expanding its operations overseas and meeting the banking needs of its main customers who have opened offices in China and Hong Kong. The establishment of a treasury function in the Hong Kong branch will complement the existing London and India treasuries so that PNB can offer services across all time zones.
In 2006, trade between China and India accounted for $38 billion annually, and this figure is forecast to double by 2010. Speaking on this occasion K C Chakrabarty, chairman and managing director, PNB said at the opening ceremony, ”Hong Kong is the bank’s gateway to the Chinese mainland. The trade between China and India has already reached the figure of $38 billion. During the recent visit of the Indian Prime Minister to China, in a meeting with the Chinese Premier the target has been revised to $60billion.”
This happened essentially because Hong Kong is the only financial centre outside mainland China where RMB transactions are permitted, and therefore most of this trade is routed through Hong Kong.
Associate director general of Investment Promotion at Invest Hong Kong, Charles Ng, welcomed this new investment. He said, “Hong Kong is Asia’s undisputed international financial centre, with a well-regulated financial infrastructure and simple and low taxation. Our unique free trade deal with Mainland China allows Hong Kong-based companies of any nationality to enjoy greater access to opportunities in Mainland China. The opening of this new Hong Kong branch will ensure that Punjab National Bank can continue to successfully build its overseas business.”