Macau’s newest lender, Banco Well Link, held its formal inauguration ceremony on its Bank of China Building premises Tuesday, announcing that it plans to start retail counter services “in due course”.
Zhang Shengman, the bank’s board chairman, made the announcement on the sidelines of the ceremony.
The bank, whose Chinese name means “setting up a bridge”, replaced Portugal’s Novo Banco Asia.
Zhang told reporters that while Macau is a “small” city it is also a “bridge” between China and the Portuguese-speaking world. He also said his bank would initially focus its business expansion on the Greater Bay Area (GBA) which comprises a number of mainland cities in the Pearl River Delta as well as Hong Kong and Macau.
According to information released on the sidelines of the inauguration ceremony, the new bank’s shareholders comprise Grupo Well Link with 26 percent of the capital, Novo Banco with 25 percent, the family of late local business community leader Ma Man Kei with 15 percent, Zhang with 10 percent, and Grupo KingKey from Shenzhen with 15 percent. Several other investors separately hold the remaining 9 percent.
The acquisition of 75 percent of Novo Banco Asia from its parent company Novo Banco in Portugal reportedly involved an investment of 183 million euros (1.7 billion patacas).
The bank has a start-up capital of 200 patacas. Novo Banco is said to be planning to reduce its stake in Banco Well Link in line with the latter’s planned gradual capital increases over the next few years.