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China Daily Website

China welcomes US' stance on bank mergers

Updated: 2012-05-05 14:34
( Xinhua)

BEIJING - Zhu Guangyao, China's vice minister of finance, said Friday China welcomes the positive stance by the US Federal Reserve toward applications from China's major State-owned banks for mergers or setting up new branches in the United States.

The Federal Reserve will positively consider the application by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to acquire the US unit of the Bank of East Asia, as well as applications by the Bank of China and the Agricultural Bank of China to set up branches in the United States, Zhu said at a press conference in Beijing.

The ICBC is the world's largest lender by market value. The three banks mentioned, along with the China Construction Bank, are the nation's four major state-owned banks.

"We hope these applications will soon get approval from US monetary authorities, and I believe this will become a reality very soon," Zhu said during the latest round of economic and strategic dialogues between the world's two largest economies.

"We welcome the positive stance by the US Federal Reserve on this matter," the financial official told reporters.

Zhu said that China would also make efforts to further open up its financial market and allow foreign investors to take a maximum 49-percent stake in joint venture securities companies or futures companies.

The agreeable cooperation in finance between the two sides came amid Zhu's alerting the United States about its failure so far to ease hi-tech exports to China.

Zhu said the US side had promised to step up efforts in boosting high-tech exports to Chinese end users for civil purposes .

"This time, the United States again said they would consider giving China equal treatment when reforming their export control system. I hope this will no longer be an empty promise," Zhu said.