HSBC targets Australian agriculture industry
(15 December 2017 – Australia) Global banking giant, HSBC has earmarked the Australian agricultural industry as a key expansion area, as Chinese investors look to take advantage of food production quality and tariff reductions under the free trade agreement.
The bank also said that it wants to add value to produces via brand development and forging direct ties with overseas customers.
HSBC Australia’s head of commercial banking Steve Hughes said, "A number of Asian and Chinese corporates are looking at Australia and looking to invest in this market either in their own right or in partnership with other corporates," he said.
The bank has recently appointed Mitchell Adermann as its first head of agribusiness in Australia, which has been identified as a priority market. Adermann previously worked with National Australia Bank and Rabobank.
"What we have identified is that there is much more to do here," Hughes said.
Adermann, formerly a horticulturalist, said, "As soon as they scratch the surface, they (investors) see that firstly Australia was built on foreign investment and secondly that the number of FIRB (Foreign Investment Review Board) rejections is very low.
"It is an attractive and easy country to invest in compared to many nations which are making it very difficult for, or have closed the door to, foreign investment."
HSBC expects the trend of consolidation in Australian farming to continue and for big producers to bypass aggregation businesses to deal directly with overseas customers.