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Bank of Beijing moves into Tianjin
enorth.com.cn   2006-08-25 16:40

"We hope to open the Tianjin branch at the end of the year and plan more outlets in the Yangtze and Pearl River Delta regions"

By Yan Bingzhu,Bank of Beijing Chairman

(Xinhua)Bank of Beijing, one of the country's largest city commercial banks, has got the go-ahead from the industry regulator to open a branch in Tianjin and is planning a listing in the near future, its top management revealed yesterday.

The bank is the second of China's 117 city commercial banks to win regulatory approval to venture beyond its home base, following the Bank of Shanghai, which opened a branch earlier this year in Ningbo in East China's Zheijiang Province.

"We hope to open the Tianjin branch at the end of the year and plan more outlets in the Yangtze and Pearl River Delta regions," said Bank of Beijing Chairman Yan Bingzhu, adding that the Tianjin branch is the first step in the bank's nationwide expansion.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) last year allowed city commercial banks that are as powerful as leading joint-stock commercial banks to expand their business outside their home base in order to sharpen their competitive edge. But very few of them meet this standard, a professor at Beijing's University of International Business and Economics, told China Daily.

Statistics from the CBRC show that the average capital adequacy ratio of the country's 117 city commercial banks hovered around 2.7 per cent by the end of 2005, far from the baseline of 8 per cent.

Around 80 per cent of city commercial banks fail to meet the requirement. If they are still not up to the standard by the end of this year, they will be merged or closed down.

"Given the close economic and geographic relationship between Beijing and Tianjin, it is natural for us to choose this neighbouring port city," said Yan Bingzhu. "Besides, we are very optimistic about the future of the Binhai New Area, the new coastal area in Tianjin which should be developed into a gateway to North China."

According to Bank of Beijing President Yan Xiaoyan, the bank will focus on SME (small and medium-sized enterprises) business in the new branch, since more Beijing enterprises are moving their business to Tianjin.

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Editor: Zhang Jialu
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