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HSBC encouraged by China’s outward investment trend: group chair

LONDON, April 25 (Xinhua) — HSBC Holdings plc sees and cheers for the huge opportunities in China’s urbanization process, growing number of middle class and outward investment blueprint, said the group’s chairman Douglas Flint Friday.

Speaking at the group’s annual general meeting here in London, Flint said that the global economy today witnesses some “unstoppable key trends”.

The developed world contemplates more “subdued growth” than enjoyed historically and as emerging markets enter a phase of consolidation, deregulation and greater market based reforms, these trends will shape the global economy in the near to mid-term, he noted.

He said the first trend is the urbanization in emerging markets, most notably in China as migration from the rural economy accelerates in order to achieve a more balanced distribution of economic prosperity.

“One hundred million people will move into China’s middle-class in the next 10 years — creating major opportunities for increased trade and consumer spending,” he said.

HSBC makes most of its money overseas, with Asia accounting for around 80 percent of its profit. It sets Britain and Hong Kong, China as its two home markets.

The second trend is that there is “clearly huge demand of massive investment” in new infrastructure to support the growth in urbanization in emerging markets and at the same time to refresh ageing infrastructure in developed markets, said Flint.

He appraised China’s investment investing in a network of highways, railways, logistics centers and other critical infrastructure, as it is supposed to eliminate the connectivity bottleneck within Asia and between Asia and the West – the new Silk Road.

Across Asia, investment needs are estimated at eight trillion dollars, he added.

Flint said:” We are very encouraged by the trends in outward investment from China and the reshaping of the Chinese economy from export dependence to domestic consumption.”

“We see great opportunity from further liberalization and internationalization of the Renminbi (RMB, or Chinese yuan), where we are the leading international bank supporting that internationalization,” he said.

According to its latest quarter macroeconomic forecast, HSBC Global Research estimates a 7.3 percent GDP growth for China, higher than the market consensus of 7.0 percent.

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