On 17 September, Banque Internationale à Luxembourg (BIL) announced the opening of its Rep Office in Beijing, becoming the first Luxembourgian bank to set up a rep office in the Mainland China. Attendees during the ceremony included:
Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance, Luxembourg;
Yin Yong, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee & Vice Mayor of Beijing Municipality;
Marc Hübsch, Ambassador of Luxembourg to China;
Li Junjie, member of the Standing Committee of Haidian District Committee & Vice District Director;
Zhu Linan, President, Legend Holdings;
Li Peng, Senior Vice President, Legend Holdings;
Marcel Leyers, CEO, BIL; and guests and representatives from business/investment sectors of China,
Ministry of Finance, CSSF, Luxembourg for Finance, trade associations of banking/security/fund/equity/venture capital of Luxemburg, as well as the Consulate General of Luxemburg to Shanghai.
The newly-opened Rep Office will participate business planning of BIL’s banking services and other commercial activities that meet regulatory requirements as well as promoting the BIL brand in China. ‘China is a very attractive market to us. The setting-up of the Rep Office is a milestone in our business growth in China. The supervision efficiency and professionalism in China is very impressive,’ said Marcel Leyers, CEO, BIL.
Yin Yong, member of the Standing Committee of the CPC Beijing Municipal Committee & Vice Mayor of Beijing Municipality, said that Beijing, being the national financial administration center and the only pilot city of comprehensive expanded-opening-up of service sector, is becoming an important hub in the global financial market. Beijing looks forward to welcoming more foreign financial institutions to settle down, seize the good opportunity of the opening-up of Chinese financial industry and grow their business in Beijing. ‘I wish BIL a rapid growth in Beijing and win-win for a better future.’
BIL was established in 1856, making it the oldest multi-business bank in the Grand Duchy and a systemically important bank recognized by the European Central Bank. After the completion of acquisition on 2 July, 2018, Legend Holdings, a leading diversified investment holding company in China, holds 89.936% of shares of the bank.
Since then, the bank has been performing steadily. As of the end of 2018,
BIL owned on-balance-sheet assets of €25.5 billion, up by 7.2% yoy，with AUM size up to €39.5 billion. Net profit was €131 million in 2018, increased by 5% yoy. This year, BIL was awarded as ‘The Best Bank in Luxembourg’ for the 3rd time consecutively by Global Finance. The top 3 rating agencies continue to maintain high ratings to the bank (S&P A-; Moody A2; and Fitch BBB+). In addition, Fitch raised its short-term rating to the bank from F2 to F1.
After the transaction, Legend Holdings and the management of the bank had in-depth discussion on BIL’s strategy and reached a consensus, hence the bank’s position in the market and its service capability were both enhanced, said Marcel Leyers. Legend Holdings will not only provide long-term capital support but also huge opportunities to the bank by utilizing its business resource network in China.
BIL already started joint business with organizations that Legend Holdings took stake in. BIL and Legend Capital launched BIL PE 1 together, an FOF, to help Spacety, which was invested by Legend Capital, set up a subsidiary in Luxemburg. Moreover, BIL has also established business relations with different companies within the Legend system. The cooperation between BIL and Chinese companies are getting closer and closer. BIL has provided loans to multiple Chinese companies that have gone global to support their business in Europe. In July this year, BIL and BOC’s Luxemburg Branch signed strategic agreement for a long-term business relationship. In addition, BIL has formed business cooperation with multiple Chinese banks.
Wang Xiaolan, President of the Time Group, visited Luxemburg as a representative of businesses in Zhongguancun, China. She said, ‘By leveraging the support from Legend Holdings and Ministry of Finance of Luxemburg as well as the expertise that the bank has gained through over 100 years, BIL will definitely be able to provide high quality financial services to Chinese businesses when they go global, and become a trustworthy and reliable partner to us.’
Pierre Gramegna, Minister of Finance, Luxembourg commented: “As a leading European financial center, Luxembourg plays an important role as a gateway to the EU for Chinese financial institutions and as a hub for cross-border investment between China and Europe. The opening of BIL’s Rep Office in Beijing, the first by a Luxembourg bank, will further help to cement Luxembourg’s bridging role. With the backing of Legend Holdings, a solid and reputable shareholder, I am confident that the opening of BIL’s representative office will contribute to establishing the BIL brand in China and allow exploring new opportunities for Chinese and European businesses.”
Zhu Linan, President of Legend Holdings, expressed that China and Luxemburg are economically supplementary to each other, being the 2nd biggest economy in the world and an internationally leading financial center respectively. Under the current macro-economic situation, there are many opportunities for both countries to work with each other and realize win-win in multiple areas including financial services. Luxemburg is the gateway to Europe. BIL can play a unique role in promoting cooperation between China and Luxembourg, as well as China and Europe. The Rep Office in Beijing symbolized the embarking BIL’s new journey of setting root in China and serving the local market so as to contribute its share in all-around bilateral economic cooperation through ‘helping Chinese businesses go to Europe and European businesses come to China’.