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Asset Management / Wealth Management
Hong Kong to remain as super connector to GBA growth
City plays key role in serving needs of HNWIs with assets of 327 trillion yuan
Janette Chen 7 Jun 2024

Hong Kong will continue to play a key role in the development of the Greater Bay Area (GBA), particularly in serving the needs of its high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) whose investable assets are expected to reach 327 trillion yuan (US$45.15 trillion) by the end of 2024.

“Being the most international city in the GBA, Hong Kong continues to be the key engine of regional development,” says Sebastian Paredes, head of North Asia at DBS and chairman of DBS China, during the 2024 DBS Greater Bay Area Conference hosted by DBS Bank in Shenzhen this week.

Carrying the theme “Harnessing artificial intelligence for future productivity”, the event is the fourth GBA Conference since its inauguration in 2019. 

The GBA has been a major driver of China’s economic growth, with its GDP reaching 14 trillion yuan, or 11% of the country’s total economic output. Guangdong’s GDP has maintained a robust 4.8% growth rate, with forecasts placing it at 5% this year.

There has been a growing demand for wealth management products and services in the GBA due to its strong economic growth and the expanding size of its affluent population.

In this respect, Hong Kong will serve as the super connector and value-adder to GBA’s development, Paredes says.

There have been concerns about whether the city will continue to capture opportunities from the massive wealth creation in the GBA as some HNWIs are said to be considering moving to overseas destinations such as Singapore while Hong Kong has been losing financial talent over the past few years.

However, conversations with representatives of private banks and wealth management firms in the region indicate that Hong Kong will remain a core market. They insist that high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals will continue to seek Hong Kong’s services, especially in setting up single-family offices.

"Hong Kong, with its strong financial infrastructure and international connectivity, has remained the first option and destination for mainland Chinese looking for wealth diversification offshore," says Paredes, noting that mainland Chinese HNWIs have been coming to Hong Kong looking for banking solutions for wealth preservation and growth as well as for their children’s education, succession planning, and wealth transfer.

Over the years, regional banks like DBS, as well as Chinese banks' offshore entities, external asset managers, and family-office service providers have been tapping the growing opportunities in the GBA.

"DBS sees immense development prospects in the GBA, and we firmly believe that it will trigger a new wave of investment momentum and development opportunities in China, Asia, and the global economy,” Paredes adds. 

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