Yesterday, Amy was busying shopping with a Chinese friend, who has come to Hong Kong for the second time. Just when Amy was proud of the business knowledge she had learned in the new place, the friend asked: "How many banks in Hong Kong".
That's a pretty hard question to Amy, though her major interest in the business class is "banking". Amy is a hard-working girl, so she went back to search. She checked the statistics from the government, saying that the number of the licensed bank at the end of 2003 is 133, the restricted licensed bank(the former so-called "licensed deposit-taking company" is 41, and the deposit taking company(the former so-called "registered deposit-taking company" is 39.
But Amy could only find a list of 80 banks in Hong Kong with their contacting numbers. Then the question came to the mind: How about their ranking list?
HSBC is the largest bank incorporated in Hong Kong, officially said its website.
Hang Seng bank and Bank of China(Hong Kong) are competing for the second place, while the first announced that "it is the second-largest listed bank in Hong Kong in terms of market capitalisation". BOC(Hong Kong) is comparatively low profile, saying it is a leading commercial banking group in Hong Kong in terms of assets and customer deposits. A former report from People's daily confirmed that BOC(Hong Kong) is the second largest bank in Hong Kong in terms of assets.
It is hard to say who is in the fourth place. Standard Chartered Bank(HK) said that it was one of the three note-issuing banks besides HSBC and BOC, but is reluctant to tell its rank. While the unlinkable South China Morning Post reported that Bank of East Asia is the fourth largest, the modest bank said that it is only the largest independent local bank in Hong Kong.
So it seems that we can't simply rank the local banks without "in terms of".
In the reporting season, the Bank of East Asia is the first to report the annual result, with earnings growth of 26.1 per cent for last year, which was seen as the good sign of the coming results from the Hong Kong banks. Standard Chartered has unveiled the higher-than-expected result this Wednesday, which helped boosting the banking shares. At the same day, index heavyweight HSBC Holdings plc, due to report its full-year results eleven days later, rose 0.38 percent to retest a seven-week high of HK$133.50 first reached on Wednesday, contributing the blue-chip index closed at 14,017.23 points after hitting an intra-day high of 14,043.94, its highest level since January 4.
The Hang Seng bank will release the result the same day with its parent HSBC, while BOC(HK)'s report date couldn't be found on its website.
While Hong Kong market is celebrating for the bullish bank share, Standard Chartered suffered with a 1.2 percent fall in the UK market yesterday, as analysts said its shares looked overvalued.