Date: July 19, 2004
  Two systems, one market?

What kind of role will Hong Kong play when the Chinese mainland reforms its financial system? How to define such a role?

It all depends on which part of the "one country, two systems" model is emphasized, says Vincent Cheng, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive of Hang Seng Bank. If the emphasis is on "one country," then there is a lot that Hong Kong can do to help; otherwise its role will be quite limited.

There are three areas that the chief executive envisions where Hong Kong expertise can contribute to the improvement to China's financial system.

  China's financial system: Now and in 20 years

In the past few years I have been spending nearly half of my time expanding Hang Seng Bank's business in the Chinese mainland market, and through that process I have accumulated some experience.

A modernized banking structure is now taking shape in China, though at this stage the industry is still dominated by State-owned banks. At present, the big-four State-owned commercial banks have a market share of about 60 per cent in terms of deposits and loans. Ten years ago their share was 90 per cent. A new generation of commercial banks has been established, some of which are funded privately and are listed on the mainland bourses.

Today, there are about 70 foreign banks with over 150 branches in China providing domestic and foreign currency business. Compare it with 1993 when the figures were 27 and 58 respectively.

Q&A on China Daily CEO Roundtable

Alexander Wan, Executive Editor, China Daily CEO Roundable

Q: What is the objective of China Daily's CEO Roundtable meeting?

A: The strategic objective of our CEO Roundtable meeting is to bring together CEOs of multinational companies- the movers and shakers in business - to get together, to address each other and share their views on major China economy, business, industry and management issues.

Q: How many CEO Roundtable meetings have you organized and what is your evaluation?

A: So far, we have organized three CEO Roundtable meetings on China's regional economy, its overheating economy and also the region's 21st century financial system. We are extremely honoured that we have had a 100 per cent turnout rate at all these Roundtable meetings. Delegates openly and sincerely made their comments with an extremely high level of relevance and professionalism. We are grateful to Professor Michael Enright from the University of Hong Kong, Professor Edward Chen of Lingnan University and Mr Vincent Cheng, vice chairman and chief executive of Hang Seng Bank Ltd. Overall, we are quite satisfied as China's first newspaper in organizing such a CEO-specific event.

Q: What are your future plans for China Daily's CEO Roundtable meetings?

A: . 1. On August 25 our theme will be: Entertaining the Nation where we will invite CEOs in the movie, television, music, leisure, lifestyle and entertainment industries to share their views on where China stands on this major sector that is affecting the 1.3 billion of people in the country.

2. On August 31 our theme will be: Globalizing Chinese Brands. We will invite CEOs of major Chinese and multinational brands, global advertising agents, market research companies and leading academics to talk about this very important topic. We are delighted that Professor Wang Zhile, Director of Research Center, Chinese Academy of International Trade & Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce to chair the session.

Our future CEO roundtables, to be staged in Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai and other major cities, will cover other major sectors such as energy, logistics, automobiles, WTO, financial reform, employment, SOE reform, private enterprises, etc. etc. We welcome CEOs of blue chip companies and industry leaders to contact us if they would like to participate at these forthcoming CEO roundtables. Pls email to




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  Senior Executives at 3rd CDRT  
Vincent Cheng, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive, Hang Seng Bank
  Name Title   Company  
  Mr.Eugene Law Executive Director and COO Celestial Asia Securities Holdings Ltd.  
  Mr. Paul Yeung President Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA)  
  Ms. Windy Lee Assistant Division Head China Construction Bank Hong Kong Branch  
  Mr. Jiyang Shi Representative China Development Bank  
  Mr. Yichen Zhang Chief Executive Officer CITIC Capital Markets Holdings Ltd.  
  Mr. Vincent H C Cheng, OBE, JP Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Hang Seng Bank Limited  
  Ms. Lily Chiang Vice-Chairman Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce  
  Mr. Gary W. K. Cheung Chief Executive Hong Kong Securities Institute  
  Mr. Edward Chow Vice President Hong Kong Society of Accountants  
  Ms. Ma Shi Lau Deputy Chairman Hong Kong Trustees' Association  
  Mr. Qi Zhu Chief Executive Officer ICBC (Asia) Limited  
  Mr. Tim Krause Senior Regional Manager International Finance Corporation  
  Mr. R. Drake Pike Senior Vice President Lehman Brothers Asia Holdings Ltd.  
  Mr. David Ting Head of Office Office Of The European Commission  
  Mr. Paul P. L. Pong Managing Director Pegasus Fund Managers Ltd.  
  Mr. Richard D. Winter Deputy Chairman Quam Limitid  
  Mr. Julius Wang Senior Managing Director Search Investment Group  
  Mr. Ashley Alder Executive Director, Corporate Finance Division Securities and Futures Commission Hong Kong  
  Mr. George Yuen Chief Executive The Better Hong Kong Foundation  
  Mr. K. P. Chan Chairman The Hong Kong Federation of Insurers  
  Dr. Geng Xiao Associate Professor The University of Hong Kong  
  Mr. Franklin Lam Managing Director Head of Hong Kong Equities UBS Warburg  
  Ms. Prudence Chan Country Manager, Hong Kong/Macau Visa International  
  Mr. Raymond Ho Chairman of Mainland Legal Affairs Committee The Law Society of Hong Kong