Television

HSBC chairman Vincent Cheng on CNN 'Talk Asia'

He came from humble beginnings playing on the street and helping his father sell fruit. Today he is the new chairman of one of the world's biggest banks and the first Chinese to lead the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. Vincent Cheng joins CNN's TALK ASIA this weekend and tells Lorraine Hahn about his story of success.

When asked if his nationality has added any pressure to his new role, Cheng says: "A little bit because it adds an extra dimension... In terms of work, it doesn't add any pressure to me personally. But there is a lot of interest because I am the first Chinese chairman. So it has a social dimension to it... I have told myself I can't fail."

During the half-hour interview, Cheng recalls a childhood affected by polio and how he took the disease in his stride. He also talks about his young life spent at his father's fruit-stand. "I helped my father to sell fruit... And then I did my homework just on... a carton box... That's quite common in Hong Kong those days," he says.

On the focus of his new job, Cheng says: "The biggest challenge is of course to take the group's business forward in Asia..., to ensure that number one, you serve the customers' well; number two, to expand our business, find more business opportunities."

Cheng also comments on China's economic development, saying the country "would need to change the regulatory regime and government policies and laws and regulations to accommodate a more flexible, a more market-oriented economy. And, this is not easy."

Log onto CNN's dedicated website for TALK ASIA on www.CNN.com/talkasia to find out more information on upcoming guests.

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