Despite facing challenges and headwinds in recent times, HSBC remains optimistic about the mid- to long-term outlook for the Chinese economy. The growth of China has been hindered by a slowdown in traditional economic sectors such as real estate, infrastructure, and exports. In response, Beijing has intensified its efforts to promote manufacturing and domestic tech industries in order to modernize the economy and maintain global competitiveness.

Georges Elhedery, the chief financial officer of HSBC, emphasized that China’s economic maturity has reached a stage where it is transitioning towards a more consumer-driven economy. This shift is expected to include a focus on high-value and sustainability-driven products like electric vehicles and batteries. Elhedery believes that this transition will enable China to avoid the “middle income trap” and sustain its growth in the long term.

While acknowledging the immediate economic challenges that China may face in the coming quarters or years, Elhedery expressed confidence in the country’s ability to overcome these hurdles. He believes that China is putting itself on a better path for long-term growth and prosperity, despite the temporary setbacks.

HSBC reported a shortfall in its full-year 2023 pretax profit forecasts due to a write-down on its stake in China’s Bank of Communications and reduced exposure to Chinese commercial real estate. Elhedery mentioned that most of the challenges related to the Chinese property market are in the past, although the sector is still in a period of adjustment. He highlighted that HSBC’s exposure and expected credit losses cover the majority of the previous charges, but there may still be some lingering effects as the sector continues to evolve.

HSBC sees a promising future for the Chinese economy despite the current obstacles. The bank remains confident in China’s ability to navigate through the challenges and emerge stronger in the long run. With a focus on transitioning towards a consumer-driven economy and investing in sustainable industries, China is positioning itself for continued growth and success. As one of the world’s leading economies, China’s journey towards economic maturity and stability is closely watched by global financial institutions like HSBC, who see immense potential in the country’s long-term prospects.


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