HONG KONG - Ask western bankers about the hottest prospect in Asia and they will doubtless point to China, with its one-billion-plus population and its thirst for capital.

But while foreigners talk in the future tense, David Li speaks of history. His Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia entered China early in the century and was the only bank not forced to leave when revolutions drove out businesses not owned by the state.

Limited Time Offer

Save $400 off your subscription. Special offer ends April 30, 2017.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.