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China to lift restrictions on foreign banks
Updated: 2004-07-01 08:58

China will further open its banking industry to the outside and gradually lift restrictions on foreign banks, said an official with the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) in Beijing Wednesday.

Foreign banks would be given more room for development in customers, business and regions, said Li Wei, vice president of the CBRC at the ongoing First China International Conference of Service Industry in Beijing.

And finally, all the restrictions would be lifted, said Li.

The Chinese government and the CBRC have strictly followed the country's commitments to the World Trade Organization in the area, said the CBRC official.

China has lifted restrictions over forex business on foreign banks and increased the number of regions where foreign banks are allowed to start renminbi business from two to 13.

Foreign investors are also allowed to join Chinese financial institutions and the percentage in the joint-ventured financial institutions increased from 15 percent to 20 percent.

Up to now, six joint-stock commercial banks and city commercial banks in China have got official permission to absorb foreign investment.

By the end of May, the total assets of China's banking industry amounted to 29 trillion yuan, or 90 percent of the total assets of the country's financial industry.

China has four commercial banks, three policy banks, 11 joint-stock commercial banks and many other financial institutions.

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