StanChart agrees Qianhai loan deal
Standard Chartered Hong Kong and Shenzhen International, a Hong Kong-listed operator of logistics facilities and toll roads on the mainland, yesterday signed a one-year Qianhai cross-border bilateral loan agreement worth 100 million yuan (HK$125.51 million).
The deal marks a milestone in the use of offshore yuan and an increase in financing channels for companies incorporated in the 15-square-kilometre special economic zone in western Shenzhen.
Standard Chartered Hong Kong managing director Gloria Chow said: "The rising adoption of Qianhai cross-border loans demonstrates that the product is now well recognised by corporates as an alternate fundraising platform for the renminbi. This will invigorate the flow back of renminbi into China and further deepen the already growing market."
In January, Beijing granted 15 banks in Hong Kong, including Standard Chartered, permission to offer loans worth a combined two billion yuan to firms based in Qianhai. While mainland banks must adhere to official lending rates, Hong Kong lenders and Qianhai borrowers can negotiate loan rates between themselves.
A Standard Chartered Hong Kong spokeswoman said the new loan - Shenzhen International's first Qianhai loan - was not included in the earlier announcement.
Since 2010, Shenzhen's city government has aspired to turn Qianhai into the "Manhattan of the Pearl River Delta", but Beijing only approved the zone as a testing ground for yuan convertibility last year.
Shenzhen International chairman Gao Lei said the company planned to focus on developing a modern, integrated logistics zone in Qianhai, providing high-end logistics services, supply chain information and management, supply chain finance and integrated value chains.