One of my blog's readers sent me a letter asking for China's banking sector, while I always has conservative words to say. Banking stocks are the most popular stocks in the Hong Kong stock market, but in fact, investors, especially retail investors, had no idea about the bank espcially the brick-like IPO books. Dangerous to invest in some companies nothing familiar except for the name is really dangerous.
(P.S. the names for Chinese state-owned banks are really famous these days. I met someone from Germany a few days before, where he could recite all Big Four's names. Lol, isn't that amazing)
I will talk about some real experience in using the service of the banks, which I always believe will be helpful in choosing stocks and make long-term investments.
China Merchants Bank, is the best bank I've ever met. Its retail service will not be worse than, or even better than the HSBC, the largest retail bank in Hong Kong. As a new bank originated from the young city Shenzhen, China Merchants clearly develops its advantage on the high quality of the service as well as its good online system. With easy clicks, one could do everything on the lender's website. Also, its credit card is the best, too, and almost every of my friends living in big cities have one CMB credit card. I remember I received the short message confirming a deal on my mobile phone just 30 seconds after I paid on the counter using the card. Isn't the speed amazing?
The CMB's logan is most interesting "we are everywhere", and it does.
China CITIC bank and China Everbright Bank, the two mid-size lenders due to be listed in Hong Kong in 2006: I once used the card of CITIC banks, hmmm, how to say, not that comfortable, but required to use by the university to pay the tuition. Both belong to the conglomate group, but will that help?
Bank of China is good at its service in foreign currency service. Hong Kong investors are enthusiastic about its stock partly because Bank of China's Hong Kong branch has done a good job. Many friends used the account in BOC to buy U.S. dollars. If Bank of China has departed its foreign currency service, I will definitely invest.
Industrial & Commercial Bank of China: big,big,big. but in fact, never use its service before. Just too far away from me.
Agricultural Bank of China: farmers know the brand better than me. But it just want to escape from this special advantage. Come on, agricultural services could make a lot of money if you could focus on it.
China Construction Bank: the relatively smaller size made it flexible. One of its most famous serivice is to pay electronic and water bills. But I always have to queue up to pay them as there are so many people.
"Good housewives couldn't cook without rice", but with so many options in banks these days, why not go to China to test the services? All in all, it's the only and most effective way to know your investment.