Mystery Bank

Who owns the new bank that will open in Macau? What are the plans of Xinghui in the MSAR? Such questions (for now) remain unanswered.

The Chief Executive issued an order last May to authorize the creation of a new bank in Macau. 

So far nothing special – or rather, the arrival of a new bank into a stagnant banking market like the Macau SAR will always be a source of attention. 

The point is that the new bank – Xinghui Bank Limited – is a real mystery. 

Macau Business has spent at least the last month trying to know who the investors are, what plans they have, what areas they will operate in… to no avail. 

At the time Chui Sai On signed the Executive Order no-one had heard of this Xinghui Bank and after that publication we only knew the name. 

Several people with whom we spoke – both in the legal area and in the local financial sector – professed admiration, but no-one chose to make a statement. 

The contacts with the Monetary Authority of Macau (AMCM) have given some answers, but little clarification. 

At first, they told us: “we regret to advise that we are not in a position to disclose information of any particular institution before its incorporation.  Public information of any institutions will also be available at the Conservatória dos Registo Comercial e de Bens Móveis upon commercial registration.” 

It turns out that no Xinghui Bank has registered in the Conservatória as at the closing of this edition of Macau Business. 

Having insisted on how this process unfolds, the Monetary Authority explained to us that “the setting up and operations of banks in Macau SAR are governed by the Financial System Act of Macau approved by Decree Law no. 32/93/M of 5th July. Any entities wishing to incorporate a bank in Macau need to apply for authorization through this Authority with relevant information on the proposed bank under Article 22 of the Act, and the proposed bank can only be incorporated upon authorization granted by the Chief Executive of Macau SAR, on advice from this Authority.” 

That is, the entities interested in opening banks in Macau send “relevant information” to the AMCM and they issue an opinion, which it sends to the Chief Executive. 

What “relevant information” is this? 

Article 22 (“Procedures for Application for Authorization”) of Financial System Act of Macau explains that “entities wishing to incorporate a credit institution in Macau shall submit their application through AMCM accompanied by the following information: a memorandum demonstrating the economic and financial reasons for wishing to incorporate the institution, indicating its feasibility and the manner in which the same shall fit into the economic and financial policies pursued by the competent authorities of Macau; a description of the institution, giving its location and details of the technical and human resources at its disposal; a draft of the memorandum and articles of association; personal and professional identification of the founding shareholders, indicating the percentage of their respective holdings in the share capital and a statement confirming the adequacy of the shareholding structure with regard to the stability of the institution.” 

The AMCM therefore has this information. Macau’s public opinion wait to be enlightened. 

From the order of Chui Sai On, it is only known that the bank has three names (Banco Xinghui Sociedade Anónima’, ‘星匯銀行股份有限公司’ and ‘Xinghui Bank Limited’) and that it will have a minimum capital stock of MOP100 million. 

Not even through the translation of the Chinese name (星匯 means a gathering of stars) we have divine the light…