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CNCBI Cross-border Banking Demand Index

Hong Kong's first quarterly leading index revealing the changes in Hong Kong's banking service demand from companies and individuals from mainland China.

4Q2017

The 4Q2017 CNCBI Cross-border Banking Demand Index stands at 55.9, falling further by merely 0.2 as compared with 3Q’s drop of 1.1, indicating that demand from mainland China for Hong Kong’s cross-border banking services may continue to slow down but at a much slower pace characteristic of a stabilising process. The Corporate Demand Index stays put at last quarter’s 54.2 while Individuals Demand Index slides slightly but remains at a 62.9 high.

Of the 9 corporate demand sub-indices, 6 bounce back from 3Q. The settlement & cash management sub-index shows the most remarkable growth of 1.5 to reach 57.2, while the currency transactions, asset management & financial consultancy, loans, trade finance and derivative products sub-indices rise moderately to 56.9, 56.7, 56.4, 53.9 and 53.3 respectively from 56.5, 56.4, 55.9, 53.6 and 53.1. The structured finance sub-index remains at 53.4 whereas the bond issuance sub-index falls from 52.9 to 51.5.

Of the Individuals Demand Sub-indices, 4 decrease and 2 increase. The decline in the financial investment and insurance products sub-indices is significant, respectively from 69.9 and 66.3 to 67.6 and 63.9. The credit cards and currency transactions sub-indices drop slightly from 66.4 and 63.5 to 66.3 and 63.1 respectively. On the other hand, the immigration & education services and mortgage & personal loans sub-indices rise moderately from 61.3 and 59.6 to 62.1and 59.7.

As regards the sub-index of expectation of regulatory looseness, the corporate figure retreats surprisingly from 49.0 to 47.0 in 4Q after last quarter’s significant increase. This trend underpins that mainland corporations’ understanding of cross-border banking related regulations has been inconsistent and that they were oversensitive to such regulations. In fact, the mainland authority has clarified its policy of the restrictions on corporate capital outflows. Controls on individuals’ capital outflows also loosened in 3Q, with an emphasis that legitimate capital outflows are still encouraged. Mainlanders’ understanding of legal capital outflows is increasing and so is their confidence in cross-border banking demand environment. As such, the individuals sub-index of expectation of regulatory looseness rises further on last quarter’s surge. This trend is expected to continue.

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