June 6, 2017
thoughts on

CIMB-China Galaxy Signing Ceremony

June 6, 2017
Organized by:
CIMB-China Galaxy
Featured on:
Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing
featured on
Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, Beijing
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A partnership between two leading Asian financial institutions that is set to make its mark alongside a new world financial order defined by a more assertive Asia, led by China. 

Mr. Chen Gongyan, Chairman
Mr. Gu Weiguo, President
Management and senior staff of China Galaxy Ladies and gentlemen 

Good afternoon.


I am delighted to be here in Beijing - on an auspicious day 6/6, greeted by good fortune of rain and in the holy month of Ramadan - for the signing of an agreement to seal a landmark partnership between CIMB and China Galaxy, which will set the stage for the emergence of a leading Asian stockbroking franchise. An influential Asian-owned Asia stockbroker that brings the best of China and ASEAN together will fill an important void in Asian finance at a time when Asia, led by China, seeks better control of its own destiny. 

Ladies and gentlemen


CIMB Group is ASEAN's 5th largest universal banking group by assets and its largest investment banking franchise. Our stockbroking arm, the prime subject of this partnership, is an important and historic part of the CIMB franchise which was merely an investment bank in one market, Malaysia, as late as 2005. That year, it was through the stockbroking business that CIMB first ventured beyond Malaysia by acquiring GK-Goh Securities, a pan-Asian stockbroker based in Singapore. Since then, CIMB has acquired and started up universal banks all across ASEAN. In 2012, we expanded our international stockbroking platform further with the acquisition of RBS’ Asia Pacific investment banking business. 

Today, we are ranked within the top 3 in terms of equity broking market share in key ASEAN markets - Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. We research over 1,000 stocks across Asia Pacific ex-Japan, and hold licenses on 7 stock exchanges and if you include our partner brokers, we have a presence on a total of 14 exchanges. We serve more than 385,000 clients across our offices in ASEAN, Hong Kong, India, South Korea, the US and the UK, delivering access to not just listed stocks, but, over the years, an unparalleled pipeline of the best and biggest primary equity deals out of ASEAN. 

On a personal note, I served as an equity salesperson for 3 years back in the early 1990s so I am especially partial and passionate about this corner of the CIMB franchise. 

Ladies and gentlemen


From my nostalgic tone, some of you may wonder why we would enter into this partnership and dilute our stake in CIMB Securities? The economics of the stockbroking business have changed tremendously in recent years, driven by technology, regulations and consolidation of the funds management industry, such that scale has become an imperative. ASEAN markets alone no longer offer sufficient scale when competing against global firms, but Asia does, and one cannot be truly Asian without China or a Chinese partnership. 

When we thought about stockbrokers in China, we saw China Galaxy as the ideal partner, with its huge customer reach, professional management and track record of domestic success. Having engaged Chairman Chen and his team over a number of months, we found all the ingredients of a good partnership, not least the chemistry to work together over the long term to build an Asian franchise that can make a difference not just for ourselves, but for China, ASEAN and Asia as a whole. 

Ladies and gentlemen


This partnership comes at a perfect time as a new world order is emerging, with China stepping up to be a leader. Asia has, for too long, been a passive rider in the US-led world order; we saw this in finance where capital flows are always directed by only Western-controlled banks and rating agencies. Asian capital needs to be able to hear credible Asian perspectives as well. 

In 2011, CIMB became the first ASEAN corporate to be rated by Dagong as demonstration to our commitment to this cause, but we were probably too early then. This stockbroking partnership, which we hope to complete by 4Q of this year after receiving all regulatory approvals, is not too early as it comes alongside China's Belt and Road initiatives, the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and Silk Road Fund as well as a surge in investments between China and ASEAN. The partnership between China Galaxy and CIMB will only enhance intra-Asia capital and business flows; our teams are excited about the referrals of clients and deal opportunities both ways. And this is not just rhetoric already; yesterday, CIMB referred an A-share IPO of a Chinese subsidiary of one of our largest ASEAN clients to China Galaxy. 

Ladies and gentlemen


In closing, I would like to thank Chairman Chen and his team for their tremendous hospitality and for hosting this historic signing ceremony. But most of all, thank you for agreeing to this partnership between two leading Asian financial institutions that is set to make its mark alongside a new world financial order defined by a more assertive Asia, led by China. 

Thank you.  

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