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HSBC offers RMB business to domestic companies(27/02/04)

   The Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation has started to offer Renminbi yuan services to non-foreign-invested companies in China's interior regions.

    HSBC's Shanghai Branch started on Feb.26 to offer RMB business -- including extension of RMB loans and issuance of letters of credits -- to non-overseas-invested enterprises, mainly state firms and private enterprises, in 13 cities and the two eastern provinces of Jiangsu and Zhejiang.

    The cities included Shanghai, Shenzhen, Dalian, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Qingdao, Nanjing, Wuhan, Jinan, Fuzhou, Chengduand Chongqing, chief executive of China business Dicky Yip said.

    Three other overseas financial institutions have been approved by the China Banking Regulatory Commission to start trial RMB services, including the New York-based Citibank, Hong Kong's Bank of East Asia and Japan's Mizuho bank. Foreign banks were only allowed to offer RMB business to foreign-invested enterprises before the approval.

    "It's a major step (for China) to open its market after China's entry into the World Trade Organization," he said.

    China became a full member of the WTO in 2001, and HSBC is the first overseas financial institution to launch Renminbi business to Chinese-invested companies in the interior regions.

    HSBC branches in Shenzhen, Qingdao, Tianjin, Dalian, Wuhan and Guangzhou had also applied to offer Renminbi business to local firms, Yip said.

    He said the bank was expected to do the same in Beijing, when the capital was to open its RMB business to overseas banks in December.

    HSBC launched foreign currency services for domestic companies in April 2002.


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