China’s top appliance maker Gree eyes banking business, the second Chinese home appliance player to eye a move into the financial industry after Suning

China’s top appliance maker Gree eyes banking business

1:31am EDT

HONG KONG (Reuters) – A unit of China’s Gree Electric Appliances Inc of Zhuhai (000651.SZ: QuoteProfile,ResearchStock Buzz) plans to set up a private bank, the second Chinese home appliance player to eye a move into the financial industry after Suning Commerce Group Co Ltd (002024.SZ: QuoteProfileResearchStock Buzz) announced its own plans last month. Gree, with a market value of $14 billion, said in a filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange late on Wednesday that Zhuhai Gree Group Finance Co Ltd is in initial talks with Zhuhai Hengqin Village Bank, but said no agreement has been reached.Gree, the country’s top appliance maker by sales, gave no further details.

Suning, which is seen by some as China’s answer to Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N: QuoteProfileResearch,Stock Buzz), said in August it had submitted an initial application to authorities to establish a private bank on the mainland, more than a week after Beijing unveiled plans to establish more financial institutions to support cash-starved smaller firms.

The government will support the establishment of more village banks and credit companies in areas where smaller firms are concentrated, according to the guidelines.

The State Administration Industry & Commerce said earlier this month that the name “Suning Bank” was approved for use, fueling hopes that Suning might be the first private company to run a retail bank.

Gree shares were down 4.3 percent on Thursday afternoon, while Suning shares were up 0.8 percent in Shenzhen.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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