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Assets of foreign banks in China up 7.37% in 2008
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Assets of foreign banks in China rose 7.37 percent from the beginning of 2008 to more than 1.34 trillion yuan (about 191.4 billion U.S. dollars) by the end of last year, said China's central bank on Friday.

The People's Bank of China said in a statement that assets of foreign banks in China accounted for 2.16 percent of the country's total financial assets.

Foreign banks had a loan balance of 7.31 trillion yuan, up 5.04 percent, accounting for 2.3 percent of the total of all financial institutions. Their debt balance rose 5.95 percent to 1.2 trillion yuan, accounting for 2.05 percent of the total.

By the end of last year, 196 banks from 46 countries and regions established a total of 237 representative offices in China. Altogether 12 countries and regions set up 28 sole-proprietorship banks and 2 joint-venture ones in the country.

The foreign banks reported increasing volumes in interbank RMB trade. They were also active in the interbank bond market, said the statement.

(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2009)

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