SAIC Motor Corporation Limited (SAIC Motor) is a Chinese state-owned company and a comprehensive provider of auto products and mobility services headquartered in Shanghai, with manufacturing bases, research and innovation centres as well as sales and marketing offices set up around the world.
As SAIC Motor expands into more regions, it has become more challenging for the group to meet the key objectives of managing global liquidity and working capital funding. The group’s liquidity structure might have become highly decentralised with new banking accounts added over the years by overseas subsidiaries and the expansion of relationships with local banking partners. This exposed SAIC Motor to various risks, including lack of visibility into overall cash movements and the high costs in managing disparate bank accounts across markets.
In August 2020, SAIC HK International Finance Limited (SAIC HKIF) was set up in Hong Kong to manage SAIC Motor’s overseas treasury responsibilities (“CTC”). It holds both Hong Kong local and connected cross-border cash pooling structures. Its key objectives include:
In this journey, SAIC HKIF worked with a global banking partner as its new overseas core cash management bank and implemented a liquidity structure to centralise SAIC Motor’s funds from regional and global perspectives. It accomplished so by:
By consolidating surplus cash across its overseas markets in a CTC, SAIC HKIF is able to centrally control and manage the firm’s liquidity and working capital in a single location, which drives greater cash efficiencies internally in meeting working capital requirements in growth markets and regions.
For SAIC Motor, Hong Kong is an attractive hub for centralising its group financial management activities as it provides efficient regulatory framework, wide network of finance and treasury resources to specialise in its function, broad set of banking capabilities to enable its transformation – all with minimal constraints for corporates to handle their offshore treasury activities.
As SAIC Motor is headquartered in Mainland China, proximity to the Mainland and depth of RMB currency-related solutions are also important considerations.
By centralising offshore treasury activities in Hong Kong, SAIC Motor is able to embed greater control, strengthen its treasury governance, and achieve significant operating efficiencies.
Zooming into the liquidity solution, this has transformed SAIC Motor’s approach to overall liquidity management, enabling it to: