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Foreign Banks Boost Expansion in China in Post-crisis Era

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Foreign banks have strengthened their expansion efforts in China, which remains one of the fastest growing economies in the world, as the global economic meltdown is ebbing.

"We plan to build 15 more branches in China within three to five years, and our target clients are small and medium-sized businesses," said Zhang Jinchen, president of the Philippines' Metropolitan Bank (China) Limited.

Metrobank has been in business in China since the 1990s, with branches and offices in Shanghai and Beijing. In early 2010 it opened Metropolitan Bank (China) Limited in Nanjing, becoming the first foreign bank to establish its headquarters in the city. The new bank serves as the base for Metrobank's operations in China.

"We achieved a balance of income and expenditure six months after the opening and will see a profit at the end of the year," Zhang said.

"The results are both pleasant and surprising. It shows our direction to serve China's small and medium-sized enterprises is right and China's financial market is really huge," Zhang said.

Foreign banks began a new round of expansion in China this year, two years after the outbreak of the global financial crisis triggered by the sub-prime crisis in the United States.

Standard Chartered Bank is preparing to open a branch in Wuhan, central China's Hubei Province, after having entered Ningbo in eastern China's Zhejiang Province and Hohhot in northern China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region this year.

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