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September 25, 2009

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Societe Generale to launch 50 outlets

SOCIETE Generale aims to create a network of 50 outlets in China as part of an expansion strategy aimed at enlarging its market share in the country, a senior banker said yesterday.

"We are strongly committed to the Chinese market," Pierre Bonzom, head of commercial and personal banking of Societe Generale (China) Ltd, said yesterday in Shanghai. "We're investing in people, IT systems and a network to expand our China business."

France's second-largest bank is expecting to move close to profitability in two to three years, backed by its strong corporate banking business, Bonzom said.

The French bank set up its locally incorporated subsidiary, Societe Generale (China), in Beijing in September 2008, with registered capital of 4 billion yuan (US$586 million).

Societe Generale isn't the only foreign bank seeking to flex more muscle in the China market. HSBC, Citicorp and other big-name lenders are moving ahead with expansion plans.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission last month approved Societe Generale's application to be allowed to offer retail yuan services.


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