Barclays Capital chases the Chinese investor

Barclays Capital offers clients Chinese-language, foreign-exchange research.

In a move that shows big international banks attempting to pay more attention to local needs, Barclays Capital is now offering weekly analysis of the global foreign-exchange markets written in Chinese.

Barclays says the decision is a response to the firm’s growing foreign-exchange business in Asia and the increasing importance of Chinese speaking investors in the global currency market, noting that it also follows on the heels of the Chinese government’s introduction of a flexible exchange rate regime.

"Our Asian clients are playing an increasingly important role in the global currency markets and we are making every effort to ensure they are fully informed at all times," says David Woo, Barclays Capital’s head of global foreign exchange strategy based in London. "We want to provide our clients easy access to in-depth analysis of the global currency markets."

Obviously fluctuations in foreign currencies are rising in importance for mainland Chinese companies as they step up their expansion overseas and buy and sell a rising amount of goods globally. Chinese government statistics show the nation’s imports totalled $560 billion in 2004 while exports the same year totalled $593 billion. Imports and exports have each risen by about one third year-on-year since 2002.

While such data is already available on the Internet in Chinese languages, Barclays is obviously attempting to lure more investors to its bank. Hence, the FX Weekly research report will be translated in to simplified and traditional Chinese characters, which suits the needs of its clients in Hong Kong and Taiwan, as well as those in mainland China.