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BNP Paribas to bolster China operations

BNP Paribas SA is planning to add brokerage, futures trading and wealth-management ventures into its business in China in anticipation of higher foreign investment flowing into the Chinese economy, Bloomberg News reported March 13.

China's policy to open the country's financial system and to integrate it into the global economy offers opportunity to firms to profit significantly from the new market. The French lender is one of many international firms looking to tap into the Chinese market with plans to set up an entire "ecosystem to receive the incoming foreign players," BNP Paribas (China) Ltd. CEO CG Lai told Bloomberg.

Lai predicts that overseas holdings will account for 15% of China's bond market in the coming seven years and that the stock market will reach that mark earlier. Lai did not comment on the whether the bank plans to increase its holding in local companies Bank of Nanjing Co. Ltd. and HFT Investment Management Co., where it holds a 15% stake and 49% stake, respectively.