HSBC has moved closer to moving its entire mainland operation now based in Hong Kong to Shanghai, with a US$33.15 million purchase of office space in Pudong. The move highlights the bank's confidence in Shanghai's future as the region's premier financial hub and is also an attempt by HSBC to centralise mainland operations. The new office at Shanghai Senmao International Building in Pudong new district will house all HSBC's mainland operations management executives and staff from the Shanghai branch. HSBC bought the ground floor and storeys 34 to 36 of Shanghai Senmao International Building, a total of 51,000 square feet. The Senmao building would be renamed HSBC Tower December next year, pending the Shanghai municipal government's approval, the bank said. All executives of the bank's mainland operations currently based in Hong Kong would start moving to Shanghai in several months' time, HSBC spokesman Dan Danchang said yesterday. There would be more than 200 staff at the new premises, she said. Eddie Wang, HSBC's head of mainland business, has been appointed general representative in the mainland. HSBC chairman David Eldon said: 'The purchase of these premises and the setting up of the general representative office reflects our strong commitment to the long-term development of our mainland businesses.' Apart from Shanghai, HSBC has bought premises in Beijing, Dalian, Guangzhou, Tianjin and Xiamen, a total investment of more than US$80 million. It has an eight-branch network covering Beijing, Dalian, Qingdao, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan and Xiamen, and three representative offices in Chengdu, Chongqing and Guangzhou. Approval has been granted to upgrade the Guangzhou office to a full branch early next year.