China to further open banking business
China will develop more favorable conditions to further open its banking business, according to the country's top banking watchdog.
"The ultimate goal is to realize an equal and mutually beneficial development situation between domestic- and foreign-funded banks," said the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC).
According to the CBRC, China will make efforts in four aspects to promote the opening of China's banking business.
First, through implementing China's commitments on its entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Renminbi business scope of foreign-funded banks will gradually expand.
According to a plan by CBRC, by December of this year, China will open Renminbi business for foreign funded banks in Beijing, Kunming and Xiamen. It will add Xi'an, Shengyang, Ningbo and Shantou by the end of 2005.
And by late 2006, foreign funded banks will be allowed to carry out Renminbi business nationwide and begin to handle individual Renminbi business for Chinese residents.
Second, overseas strategic investors are welcome to cooperate with Chinese-funded banks in various forms in compliance with voluntary commercial principles.
Third -- and also the most eye-catching aspect -- is that China will approve more vehicle financial companies only if they are proven to be qualified. Foreign investors are encouraged to hold as much as 20 percent of financing companies established by Chinese organizations.
Finally, China will make efforts to enrich the business variety of foreign-funded banks, and the authority will streamline the procedures for the establishment and business approval of foreign funded banks so as to be more effective.
By the end of August, foreign-funded banks had opened 200 operational bodies, 14 foreign capital corporate entities and 216 representative offices in China, the CBRC said.