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Bank of the West Chief Economist Presents Global Growth Trends
Forecast highlights strong growth throughout much of Asia and notes continuing stresses in the Eurozone and the U.S.

LOS ANGELES, Dec. 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West Chief Economist Scott Anderson, was the keynote speaker at the 18th Annual Pacific Rim Dinner on Tuesday, December 11 in Pasadena, California. Anderson's remarks highlighted growth expectations across the Asian economies, the Eurozone's continuing recession and the impact of the global economy to the U.S.

(Logo:  http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120418/MM90603LOGO)

"We're seeing stronger growth expectations across much of Asia, with China leading the way in 2013 and accelerating growth in Taiwan, Hong Kong and South Korea," said Anderson. "The Asian economies have so far remained relatively resilient to the European situation, though given the interconnectedness of world trade, we'll be watching closely to see what, if any, effect the continuing stresses of the West might have in parts of Asia."

More than 400 clients attended the event hosted by the Bank's Pacific Rim Banking Division, which has a large commercial portfolio including Asian immigrant and Asian American entrepreneurs and business owners who have operations in both the United States and in Asia.

Executive Vice President and Head of the Pacific Rim Banking Division Yukinori Nishio remarked that the division continues to perform well. Within the division, loans have increased by two percent and core deposits have grown by 10 percent compared to prior year-end.

"We're honored to host an event that shows our deep appreciation and respect for our clients," said Yukinori Nishio, head of the Pacific Rim Banking Division. "At the same time that we've gathered to honor these connections, we're also pleased to support our clients by providing valuable insight by one of the financial industry's well-known economists."

Other points from Anderson's presentation included highlights of the current U.S. economy:

  • Lower interest rates, falling gas prices and rising equity markets have bolstered consumer confidence to a five-year high.
  • Solid gains are being made on home sales, housing starts and home prices, suggesting that this housing recovery trend may continue.
  • U.S. job growth has rebounded in recent months, supporting consumer confidence and spending.

Even while some economic data showed an uptick, Anderson cautioned on the outlook for manufacturing and business spending.  "The number one risk in my 2013 forecast is the U.S. fiscal cliff and the tightening that could come through cuts in government spending and tax increases," said Anderson. 

Bank of the West Chairman and CEO Michael Shepherd and President and COO Maura Markus opened the evening with welcome and opening remarks on the importance of the dedicated Pacific Rim Banking Division and the special relationship that the Bank has with its Asian communities and business associates.

About the Pacific Rim Banking Division at Bank of the West

Through Bank of the West's Pacific Rim Banking Division, Asian and Asian‐American individuals and businesses are offered a full range of business, corporate, personal and international banking services by 180 bilingual relationship managers who focus on the Pacific Rim. In addition to English, they conduct business in Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese. Through representative banking offices in Chicago and New York and corporate banking offices in select California cities, the Bank's clients, who may have operations in the United States and Asia, can access credit and deposit services – including cash management, foreign exchange, trade finance and other banking services.

To serve a growing number of U.S. subsidiaries of Asian‐based companies, Bank of the West operates representative offices in Tokyo and Taipei. BNP Paribas China's International Business Development Desk can provide for the banking needs in China of subsidiaries of Bank of the West's customers. 

About Bank of the West:

Founded in 1874, $63 billion-asset Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com), member FDIC and equal housing lender, offers a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services. The bank operates more than 700 retail and commercial banking locations in 19 Western and Midwestern states. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 80 countries with nearly 200,000 employees.

SOURCE Bank of the West

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