Top appliance maker Gree plans private bank

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 September, 2013, 2:25pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 September, 2013, 4:20pm

A unit of Gree Electric Appliances plans to set up a private bank, the second Chinese home appliance player to eye a move into the financial industry, after Suning Commerce announced its own plans last month.

Gree, based in Zhuhai, Guangdong province, with a market value of US$14 billion, said in a filing with the Shenzhen stock exchange late on Wednesday that Zhuhai Gree Group Finance is in initial talks with Zhuhai Hengqin Village Bank, but said no agreement had been reached.

Gree, the country’s top appliance maker by sales, gave no further details.

Suning said in August it had submitted an initial application to authorities to establish a private bank on the mainland, more than a week after Beijing unveiled plans to establish more financial institutions to support cash-starved smaller firms.

The government will support the establishment of more village banks and credit companies in areas where smaller firms are concentrated, according to the guidelines.

The State Administration of Industry & Commerce said earlier this month that the name “Suning Bank” was approved for use, fuelling hopes that Suning might be the first private company to run a retail bank.

Gree shares traded 4.3 per cent lower on Thursday afternoon, while Suning shares rose 0.8 per cent in Shenzhen.