21 August 2019

CITIC Bank’s internet way: If you can’t beat them, join them

Internet funds keep draining money from bank deposit accounts, and there seems little banks can do to stop the trend. To cope with the onslaught, lenders are being forced to rethink their business strategies. In this regard, China CITIC Bank Corp. (601998.CN) can be said to be among the more enterprising – its response to the challenge is to make friends with the enemies.

The mid-sized bank is offering a credit card that can be used on the payment platforms of both Alibaba Group and Tencent Holdings.

CITIC will be able to tap into the fast-growing e-commerce market. With both giants busy beefing up their online-to-offline (O2O) operations and pushing their payment systems to brick-and-mortar shops, the lender will be able to ride on the trend.

Bucking the generally weak trend of banking stocks, CITIC hit the upper limit of daily gains Wednesday. After a small retracement, the counter has stayed 38 percent above the level seen at the beginning of the year.

The excitement, however, has been confined to its mainland-listed A shares. The lender’s Hong Kong-traded H shares were last quoted at HK$4.24 apiece, about two thirds that of the mainland valuation.

– Contact the writer at [email protected]



EJ Insight writer

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