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12 foreign banks apply for RMB business
Updated: 2004-12-10 15:00

Half of the 24 foreign banks in Beijing have applied for opening renminbi business for domestic firms, the city's banking regulator said in Beijing Friday.

Lai Xiaomin, head of the China Banking Regulatory Commission's Beijing Bureau, told a financial forum that his bureau will handle the applications in a "cautious and efficient" manner.

China announced early this month five cities, including Beijing,were liberalized for foreign banks to offer local currency business for Chinese companies, bringing the total number of such cities to 18.

After nearly a decade of development, Lai said, foreign banks had amassed roughly US$6.4 billion in aggregate assets in Beijing.

The banks still have great potential for growth since the Chinese capital's economy has been expanding on a fast and sustainable track. Besides, Beijing is the headquarters of the country's Big Four State banks, among other commercial banks, and the host city for the 2008 Olympic Games, he noted.

A total of 105 foreign banks in China have so far been given the go-ahead to run renminbi business.

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