Credit Agricole CIB aims to keep double-digit growth in Chinese market
BEIJING, Jan. 9 (Xinhua) -- Nicolas Vix, president of Credit Agricole CIB (China) Ltd., said the bank aims to continue its double-digit growth in the Chinese market this year, casting a vote of confidence in the prospects of the world's second-largest economy.
In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Vix said "China is of primary importance" and the bank is strongly committed to the Chinese market.
"I believe that actions speak louder than words," he said. "I will tell you what our bank does: we onboard new Chinese clients every month; we increase our China headcount every year; and most tellingly, we have just increased the equity capital of Credit Agricole CIB (China), through a cash injection from our parent company in France."
The Shanghai office of the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission in December approved the bank's move to increase its registered capital by 1.5 billion yuan (about 235 million U.S. dollars) to 6.3 billion yuan.
A wholly owned subsidiary of France's Credit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Credit Agricole CIB (China) achieved remarkable results in 2020. Its operating income gained over 10 percent from a year ago, and its net profit saw a more stellar increase of 41 percent.
Vix joined the bank's Beijing office in 1988 and has worked for 20 years in the country in places including Shanghai and Hong Kong. He was appointed as president of Credit Agricole CIB (China) in 2019.
"Over the past 30-plus years, China has built an industrial base second to no other country in the world," he said. "The country not only looks transformed from what I first saw in the 1980s, it has since continued to improve and modernize, not only in volume of investment but also in quality."
Vix in particular highlighted China's ability to make constant improvements and fend off challenges, as seen in the country's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Speaking about our bank's direct experience, we have been able to restore normal operation very quickly after the initial outbreak, and we have maintained it ever since," Vix said. "We could witness the same experience with our clients who after short initial disruption have maintained normal business operation throughout the pandemic."
Thanks to a resilient and steady Chinese economy, Credit Agricole CIB (China) has enjoyed booming growth over the past decades.
"Originally when I was in Beijing, it was a representative office and we offered clients the offshore services only," Vix said. "And then it became a branch, we could firstly do USD business followed by renminbi business. Then it became a subsidiary and we started to enlarge our product offerings notably with derivatives."
The bank now handles a variety of financial products in Beijing and Shanghai with no difference from those delivered in Paris and London.
"The financial markets [of China] continue to open and the bank is becoming more integrated, more onshore, more grounded in China, while at the same time remaining connected to the rest of the world," Vix said.
Looking ahead, Vix expects new opportunities to sprout in the Chinese market as the country is shifting to an economic system driven by sustainable development.
China has become the world's second-largest issuer of green bonds and Credit Agricole CIB (China) has a great role to play in green finance, Vix said. "I have confidence in China's ability to continue on its road to quality development."