HSBC has appointed Li Zhen as its first head of China outbound, to oversee the bank’s China-dedicated desks across the world.

Li will manage and develop HSBC’s China desks in trade and investment markets including Brazil, Germany, South Africa, the US and the UK. The desks assist Chinese private and public companies to access business opportunities and financial products in their target sectors.

Alan Keir, group managing director and global head of commercial banking at HSBC, adds: “HSBC has been investing in its China desks for a number of years, and with roll-out in India, Indonesia and Bangladesh underway our network has reached a critical mass at a critical time for Chinese companies.

“Falling export orders and rising inventories show how important it is to enter new markets, while depressed asset prices are presenting unique acquisition opportunities for companies keen to expand overseas. This is exactly what our China desks are helping them do.”

Li joined HSBC in 2004 and will remain based in Shanghai, where he was responsible for the bank’s Chinese domestic branch network.

HSBC expects China to double its overseas direct investment to US$150bn by 2015, despite a slowdown in export growth from 11.3% year-on-year in June to 1% in July.