Sweden’s SEB is planning to open a Hong Kong office in mid 2011.

The office comes as a response to what SEB describes as the Asian market increasingly attracting Nordic and German clients.

Magnus Carlsson, head of the merchant banking division at SEB, explains the reasons behind the planned office: “Hong Kong is today the third-most important financial centre in the world after New York and London and growing in importance because of the rise of Asia, in particular China. SEB’s client base is also increasing its presence in the region.”

“The wealth accumulation going on and the new markets opening up provide a huge opportunity for our institutional as well as corporate clients,” Carlsson continues. “Our aim is to serve them and new clients in the best possible way by facilitating their ambitions and strategies with a strong financial offering that meets the market conditions.”

The opening is still pending licensing approvals, but if SEB gains permission from the authorities, the new office will join SEB’s other Asian offices in Beijing, Singapore, Shanghai and New Delhi.