China Merchants Bank gets license for NY branch

2008-07-16 00:49:29 GMT       2008-07-16 08:49:29 (Beijing Time)       China Daily

File photo of a China Merchants Bank branch.

BEIJING, July 16 -- China Merchants Bank Tuesday received an official license from the New York State Banking Department to operate a branch in New York, becoming the first mainland bank licensed in the U.S. in 17 years.

The branch will engage in wholesale deposit taking, lending, trade finance and other banking services, the bank said.

"Our New York branch will facilitate trade and other business activities between China and the U.S. by providing trade service, trade finance, dollar clearing and other services to businesses from both countries," said Fang Hui, general manager of the New York branch.

The formal opening of the branch is expected later this year while the preparation work is under way, the bank said.

"The New York branch is an important part of the bank's overseas expansion strategy," Fang said, adding the bank will continue to adhere to prudent management and operations.

Backed by its good corporate governance and customer services, the lender has strengthened its capital base and improved management, which have helped fuel its global expansion.

The bank is seeking new profit engines as its domestic businesses have been well developed, said Zhang Jing, an analyst from China Minzu Securities. "This is a significant step for China Merchants Bank's overseas strategy."

Opening a branch in New York, the financial center of the U.S., will help the lender boost its business in that country and catch up with rivals Bank of China and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China in the foreign market, he said.

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