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Overseas-funded banks own US$193 bln in assets
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The total assets of overseas-funded banks in the Chinese mainland stood at some US$193 billion by the end of March, up 55 percent year on year, the China Banking Association (CBA) said Sunday.

The assets of overseas-funded banks accounted for 2.44 percent of the total assets of the banks in China, it said.

Yang Zaiping, CBA's vice chairman, told a seminar over the reform of the country's banking sector that the figure remains small despite a fast expansion of businesses by overseas-funded banks over the past years.

According to the association, the balance of loans among overseas-funded banks stood at 105.8 billion U.S. dollars by the end of March, an increase of 61 percent over the same period of last year. Their total deposits were 68.6 billion U.S. dollars, up 84 percent.

By the end of March, Chinese branches operated by 57 overseas-funded banks, as well as 25 overseas-funded corporate banks, were approved to provide Renminbi services. Fifty overseas-funded banks were allowed to engage in transaction of financial derivatives.

Since foreign institutional investors were first allowed to invest in Chinese banks starting in 1996, 33 overseas banks have acquired stakes in 25 Chinese banks with a total investment of 21.3 billion U.S. dollars by the end of last year, according to the CBA.

(Xinhua News Agency July 7, 2008)

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