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Hong Kong’s CITIC Ka Wah Bank goes live with OPICS to support expansion of its Treasury operations

London… 31st January 2002. CITIC Ka Wah Bank Limited, one of Hong Kong’s leading local financial institutions, has gone live with the OPICS Treasury & Capital Markets solution in just eight months, since signing a contract with Misys International Banking Systems in November 2000. Misys won the deal in the face of strong competition from rival suppliers Reuters, Sunguard and Temenos, with their Kondor+, Infinity FX and Globus products respectively.

CITIC Ka Wah Bank was originally established in Hong Kong in 1924, where it has been operating for more than 75 years. The bank, formerly known as Ka Wah Bank, was acquired by China International Trust & Investment Corporation (CITIC) in 1986, changing its name to CITIC Ka Wah Bank in 1998. Publicly listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, the bank employs over 1,000 staff and maintains 26 branches in Hong Kong, in addition to two international branches in the U.S.A and one representative office in Beijing.

The main business focus of CITIC Ka Wah Bank is the provision of one-stop financial services to individual customers and small and medium-sized business clients. The bank’s comprehensive portfolio of personal banking products include deposit and savings accounts, investment funds, on-line stock trading, insurance, credit card, telephone and e-banking services, plus a range of loan and mortgage products. For small and medium-sized business clients, the bank’s product offerings cover credit facilities, business insurance, trade finance, e-banking and payroll services.

CITIC Ka Wah Bank’s primary objective is to continue growing its business, particularly treasury operations, where it plans to expand into derivatives trading, to complement the bank’s existing treasury activities. CITIC Ka Wah Bank’s Senior Vice President and Treasurer, Moses Yeung, explains, "The technology that was previously in use would have been unable to support the bank’s aggressive plans for expansion, so early in 2000, we started the search for a replacement system."

Over a period of several months, a number of different packages, all from leading international suppliers were reviewed, including Reuters Kondor+, Temenos’ Globus and Sunguard’s Infinity FX. Ultimately, CITIC Ka Wah Bank chose Misys International Banking Systems’ OPICS product as its preferred treasury solution, together with TrOPICS, the system’s trader front-end.

Moses Yeung points out, "The reasons for our choice of OPICS were simple; it was the only solution that provided the comprehensive coverage of traded instruments we required, together with straight-through processing, all available within a single package, rather than as separate components for the front and back-office. Misys also has a proven track-record of delivering operational solutions in a very short timeframe. This was a key requirement, since the treasury department needed to be up and running to meet critical deadlines, as part of a bank-wide systems upgrade project."

Once contracts between CITIC Ka Wah Bank and Misys were signed, implementation got under way at the bank’s Head Office in December 2000, and was completed in just eight months, OPICS being fully operational by the end of August 2001. In addition to the TrOPICS trader front-end for the capture and straight-through processing of trades, OPICS incorporates a wide range of applications to support the bank’s expanded treasury operation. These include Deposits & Loans, Foreign Exchange, Fixed Income, FRAs, Swaps, Repos, Futures, OTC Options and Caps, Floors & Collars.

The system also incorporates interfaces to a number of trading and settlement systems, including Reuters Dealing 2000 and the EBS settlement service for Foreign Exchange trades. As well as offering facilities for Net Settlement and Confirmation Matching, OPICS has also been integrated with the bank’s General Ledger system running on an IBM ES/9000 mainframe.

Kane G. Gong, Executive Vice President and Head of Group Finance & Operations of CITIC Ka Wah Bank, comments, "The bank is now in a position to press ahead with the expansion of its treasury operations. As well as being able to offer a much wider range of treasury services than were previously available without having to increase staff numbers, we have been able to achieve this without introducing a greater level of operational risk."