Portugal’s BES bank to expand to Hong Kong

11 November 2009

Lisbon, Portugal, 11 Nov – Banco Espirito Santo (BES) is waiting for authorization from the Hong Kong authorities to set up operations in that financial market, BES chief executive Ricardo Salgado said Tuesday in Lisbon.

Salgado was speaking on the sidelines of the Global China Business Meeting in the Portuguese capital gathering 200 executives from Chinese companies from a total 400 participants from around the world.

“Hong Kong has an inexorable financial dynamism and China is opening itself very slowly. It’s necessary to be in that financial market as China is beginning to allow operators in Hong Kong to have access to Chinese currency, especially through bond issues. But this is the first stage,” said Salgado.

The BES CEO also said his bank’s priority has been to work with Portuguese entrepreneurs, acknowledging “some have had problems entering China – not all but the majority.”

Although Portuguese company chiefs are more geared towards the South Atlantic and North Africa, we are also taking positions to support them (in China).”

BES has operated in Macau since 1996 via local operation Banco Espirito Santo do Oriente (BES Oriente). (macauhub)