Good investment opportunities in Portugal are few, says Bank of China official

21 May 2019

Chinese companies have the liquidity and willingness to invest but it is difficult to find good investment projects and opportunities in Portugal, said the director-general of the Financial Institutions Department of the Bank of China

Wendy Sun Min told Portuguese news agency Lusa, at the Bank of China Macau headquarters, that, despite this finding, the aim is “to make more investments in Portugal,” using the various funds that have been created in recent years for this purpose.

“We have a Sino-Portuguese fund, set up by the Chinese government and also with some funding provided by Macau, which has several phases, but which already has starting capital of US$500 million and will increase in stages,” she added.

“There are other sovereign funds, such as the China Cooperation Fund, which can also invest in Portugal, there are many funds available looking for opportunities to invest,” said Wendy Sun, who added that the Bank of China itself may, “finance companies, whether public or private, that are interested in investing in Portuguese-speaking countries, and Macau may be a support centre for such investment.”

The deepening of China’s financial relationship with Portugal, which has been especially visible in recent years, can also be measured in other aspects of bank activity beyond funding, said Wendy Sun Min, noting the recruitment of more people who speak fluent Portuguese, added to the current five Portuguese speakers, as well as the increase in the frequency of trips to Portugal, which will no longer be annual and become quarterly.

Wendy Sun also told Lusa that the bank is “in contact” with several Portuguese-speaking countries regarding a possible issue of debt in Chinese currency, which she said was “possible and beneficial for both parties.”

Debt securities issued in Chinese currency is known as “pandabonds,” and Portugal is one of the countries preparing to issue government debt in yuan under an agreement signed in October 2018 between state-owned bank Caixa Geral de Depósitos (CGD) and the Bank of China. (Macauhub)