Published On: Wed, Aug 16th, 2017

Now Asia eyes up City after Brexit despite EU attempts to snatch business


In a policy document issued by the Asia team of the local authority that promotes the Square Mile the Corporation said it would aim to “focus on” building relationships with countries like China, India and Singapore in the coming year, wanting to create a bridge between London and Asia to discuss finance and services connections”.

While the report conceded that Britain leaving the European Union (EU) would make it more difficult for foreigners using British financial services to access the EU market it said that it would not diminish the opportunities available.

However it warned the City needed to move swiftly though to “ensure they view London as their number one partner in the west for financial and professional services”.

The likes of China, India and the larger Asian countries are currently experiencing huge expansion and growth, fuelling the global economy and the City has emerged as a key centre for growing Chinese financial institutions as well as being home to 80 per cent of the world’s Masala bonds – upee-denominated bonds listed outside of India.

Sherry Madera, City of London special adviser for Asia, wrote that “China’s commitment to the City remains unwavering” in notes from meetings with financial professionals across Asia from earlier in the year.

Forging stronger relationships with non-EU economies will be a key issue for post-Brexit Britain, according to City of London MP Mark Field.

He said: “The City has traditionally looked to forming alliances with other international financial centres. Its willingness to make this happen as Brexit approaches will help persuade doubters that as we leave the EU the UK has a keen eye on our future as a global player.”

Henry Newman, director of the Open Europe think tank said: “It’s obviously going to make sense for us to link up with other financial centres.”

Earlier this month the City was given a boost after the Asian merchant bank Ion Pacific opened its new European headquarters in London.

Claire Hoey, who will head up the office, said: “As part of our international expansion, we have chosen London to become our main European platform to help bridge capital and investment flows between the Asian and Western markets.

“London is a global leader in financial markets and business excellence and we believe our presence here will significantly enhance our offering to both our Asian and international client base.”

Asked why the company had picked London as its European base, Ms Hoey said: “London will always be the HQ for Asian investors, especially the Chinese, who see it as a platform for Europe. This is unlikely to change, regardless of how Europe comes to see London in the future.”


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