The new office is located in the Shanghai World Financial Centre, Lujiazui, within the Shanghai free-trade zone. Lujiazui has been developed specifically as a new financial district of Shanghai and the free-trade zone, which was established in 2013, permitting yuan convertibility and unrestricted foreign currency exchange, and a tax-free period of 10 years for the businesses in the area.
In a joint statement, the broker’s co-founders and co-CEOs, Kim Fournais and Lars Seier Christensen, laid out the strategic rationale for the opening of the new office in Shanghai. “The People’s Republic of China (PRC) will become one of the most important markets globally. With China’s initiation of the Silk Road land route and maritime equivalent … a new phase of expansion and economic development will increase demand for financial services.”
A new phase of expansion and economic development [in China] will increase demand for financial services.
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They added: “As businesses and people increasingly becoming self-directed in the way they approach their investments, they need modern technology and a comprehensive multi-asset product offering and that is exactly what Saxo Bank offers.”
The strategic focus on Asia is affirmed by the recent acquisition of 9.9% of the company’s shares by Sinar Mas Group. An Indonesian conglomerate with investments in a wide variety of industries including financial services, real estate, pulp and paper and telecom, Sinar Mas Group is expected to act as a strategic partner, and assist Saxo Bank in growing their business in the Asian markets.
The mainland China office will be headed up by Echo Zhao, a long-time employee of Saxo Bank, beginning her career with Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen over a decade ago. A native of mainland China, she will report to Adam Reynolds, CEO Asia Pacific.
“We are thrilled to be opening our office in the Shanghai free-trade zone. We have seen trading volumes and demand for content expanding within the region rapidly since the opening of our Asia Pacific headquarters in Singapore 9 years ago, and we are delighted to be committing further to Asia and the burgeoning China market by working within the Shanghai Free-Trade Zone regulatory framework,” said Mr. Fournais and Mr. Christensen.
No doubt the company will be expecting the increased trading activity in Asia to boost its results, after incurring a net loss of -$73.1 million during H1 2015, hurt in large part by the upheaval caused by the SNB event earlier this year.