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Hang Seng Bank's pre-tax net gains from mainland business

HANG Seng Bank Ltd almost doubled the contribution by its China mainland business to its group pre-tax profit as the lender rode on the country's economic growth and its own expansion.

The mainland business contributed 11.9 percent to Hang Seng's total profit before tax in 2008, from 6.5 percent a year earlier, the bank said yesterday.

Hang Seng China opened two branches and eight sub-branches in 2008, bringing its mainland network to 33 outlets across 11 cities. The number of full-time staff jumped 32.2 percent to 1,450. The bank improved its relationship management which helped drive the development of its wealth management business on the mainland.

Its mainland customer base soared 73.6 percent while deposits surged 91.8 percent, the bank said without giving the value. The bank's customer advances rose only 3.7 percent as it tailored lending to prevailing economic conditions.

Its operating income on the mainland rose 63.7 percent. But the bank reported an unspecific fall in pre-tax profit on the mainland as it invested further in its network as well as exchange losses and higher loan impairment charges.


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