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Banks keen to set up in pilot FTZ

2013-09-25 09:18 Shanghai Daily Web Editor: Wang Fan
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The gate and signs for China's first free trade zone undergo final installation in Shanghai's Pudong New Area yesterday. China will open the zone on Sunday in what is an ambitious effort to transform the city into a global hub. The pilot free trade zone will remove controls on China's currency, according to a draft plan. Regulations in the zone will also be loosened in 19 business sectors ranging from banking to culture, the draft plan shows. [Shanghai Daily]

The gate and signs for China's first free trade zone undergo final installation in Shanghai's Pudong New Area yesterday. China will open the zone on Sunday in what is an ambitious effort to transform the city into a global hub. The pilot free trade zone will remove controls on China's currency, according to a draft plan. Regulations in the zone will also be loosened in 19 business sectors ranging from banking to culture, the draft plan shows. [Shanghai Daily]

Domestic and overseas commercial banks in Shanghai are keen to establish outlets in the free trade zone that is set to open on Sunday.

The big five state-run banks - the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, the Agricultural Bank of China, the Bank of China and the Bank of Communications - as well as joint-stock lenders such as Shanghai Pudong Development Bank and the Ping An Bank, have applied to open a branch in the pilot FTZ in Shanghai.

The names of the first batch of successful applicants are expected to be unveiled on the official opening day of the FTZ, according to a local television report yesterday.

The Shanghai city government yesterday confirmed the pilot FTZ will be launched officially on Sunday and said preparation work is going smoothly.

The Pudong Bank has dedicated two desks for FTZ enquiries in its outlet in the Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone which was incorporated into the new FTZ.

ICBC, China's biggest lender, plans to upgrade its sub-branch in Waigaoqiao to a city branch-level outlet in the FTZ, which is subject to approval.

AgBank plans to integrate three existing outlets in the zone into a single branch, which will conduct different businesses such as the liberalization of interest rates and foreign exchange rates, yuan capital account and cross-border financial service reforms, said Liu Guiping, general manager of the Shanghai branch of the country's third-biggest lender.

HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank and Bank of East Asia, which have submitted their applications, will likely become the first batch of overseas banks to establish a presence in the pilot zone, according to a bank source.

As authorized by China's legislature, the State Council will suspend administrative approvals covering foreign-funded enterprises, Chinese-foreign equity joint ventures and contractual JVs in the FTZ.

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