The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) opened a new office in Hamburg on 25 June 2015. Last year, the ICBC was ranked first on the Forbes list of the world’s biggest public companies and named the number one bank in “The Banker’s Top 1000 World Banks” ranking by tier 1 capital, the first Chinese bank to hold this position. ICBC not only has the highest total assets, but also the highest capital adequacy ratio.
The office opening by ICBC in Hamburg is an important signal for Chinese companies. Chen Fei, managing director of ICBC’s Frankfurt branch, said: “We want to expand our activities on the German market. Hamburg is the economic centre of Europe’s North. At the same time, Hamburg also plays an important role in the Chinese economy in Europe. We thus see great potential for further growth.“ Frank Horch, Hamburg Minister of Economy, Transport, and Innovation, added: “The fact of ICBC moving to Hamburg is good news – not only for all Chinese companies at home in Hamburg. For many Hamburg-based company’s, business with China will now also be easier.“
Confirmation of Hamburg’s China Competence
At the official opening of the ICBC branch, Hamburg’s Mayor Olaf Scholz stressed the importance of Hamburg. “For us, China’s economic growth is not something abstract, but part of the economic fortune of our city.” According to Scholz, the choice of Hamburg for a new branch was an important sign of recognition for Hamburg as an economic and financial centre. Scholz said: “Hamburg’s China expertise will ensure that the ICBC feels comfortable at home on the banks of the Alster river.”
Hamburg’s First Mayor also referred to the close relations between China and Hamburg: “For nearly 30 years, our twinning with Shanghai has been blossoming. Successful events like China Time and the “Hamburg Summit: China meets Europe” strengthen our partnership at all fields of action. They enable a dialogue on economic policies at the highest level.” Around 4,000 Chinese nationals living in Hamburg. The Port of Hamburg is handling approximately 2.7 million standard containers with China, making the People’s Republic Hamburg’s most important trading partner.
In Hamburg, ICB will be offering its complete portfolio of financial products. Many large, global construction and transport companies, including German Lufthansa, are among ICBC’s most important customers. Internationally, ICBC will also be involved in supporting infrastructure projects, such as the financing of port expansions. The Hamburg office is located in the heart of Hamburg at Jungfernstieg 14.
Innovation and Competitiveness
Founded 1 January 1984, ICBC was successfully listed on 27 October 2006 at the Shanghai Stock Exchange and Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Through continuous and steady development, ICBC developed into one of the world’s leading large banks. It has an excellent customer base, a diversified business structure, and is marked by strong innovation and competitiveness. By the end of 2014, ICBC was active on six continents with an overseas network in 41 countries and regions, comprising more than 17,122 branches in China, 338 overseas branches, and 2,007 agents.
470 Million Clients Worldwide
Along with the distribution channels of correspondence banks, online banking, telephone banking, and self-service banking, the ICBC is offering a broad range of financial products and services to 5.09 million corporate clients and 465 million individual clients. With banking as the main pillar, the ICBC developed a comprehensive, international information technology and management structure.
Hamburg – China-Hub with 500 Chinese Companies
Hamburg is one of the most important locations of the Chinese economy in Europe. In 2013, more than 500 Chinese companies were listed in Hamburg’s commercial register, with figures rising, according to the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, the HWF Hamburg Business Development Corporation and the GIGA Institute of Asian Studies. In 2014 alone, 58 companies from China and Hong Kong were newly added. HWF Managing Director Dr. Rolf Strittmatter: “China is and remains one of the most important destination and source markets for investments in Hamburg. To ensure the future growth of Hamburg as a leading location in the trade with China, we will reinforce our efforts, for example, in North China, and promote Hamburg even more as a logistics hub for Chinese companies, particularly in Northern and Eastern Europe and in the Baltic states.”
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