China Bohai Bank, the first national joint-stock commercial bank that the Chinese government has approved since 1996, has gone into operation in North China's port city of Tianjin.
As the first national commercial bank based in Tianjin, a manufacturing center about 120 kilometers from Beijing, the bank is also the first of its kind that ushered in overseas strategic investors in the preparatory stage.
It has a registered capital of 5 billion yuan (621.1 million US dollars). Tianjin Taida Investment Holding Co Ltd is the largest shareholder of the bank, possessing 25 percent of the stake. It is followed by the Hong Kong-based Standard Charter with 19.99 percent of the equities.
"We plan to set up 10 branches in Tianjin this year and three others in 2007: one will be in Beijing, the two others in Shanghai, Guangzhou or Shenzhen," Yang Zilin, chairman of the bank's board of directors, said at Thursday's opening ceremony.