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Foreign Banks Allowed to RMB Business
A People's Bank of China (PBOC) spokesman said Tuesday that gradually allowing Renminbi business at foreign banks was an important promise China made when joining the World Trade Organization, and the country would continue to steadily meet this commitment.

When China joined the WTO on December 11, 2001, foreign banks were officially ratified to conduct RMB business in the cities of Shanghai, Shenzhen, Tianjin and Dalian, he said. On December 1, 2002, five more cities - Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Qingdao, Nanjing and Wuhan - were added to the list.

Since February 1, 2002 when the regulatory rules governing foreign financial institutions came into effect, the PBOC has approved 23 foreign banks in China to conduct RMB businesses, bringing the total number to 53.

By the end of October 2002, the number of foreign banking institutions in China had reached 181, with aggregate assets worth 37.965 billion US dollars and debts of 33.797 billion dollars, he said.

Allowing RMB business in more foreign banks demonstrated that the Chinese government was seriously carrying out its promises and opening the financial market in a steady and orderly way, he said.

(Xinhua News Agency January 8, 2003)

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