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DBS, Citi Open Sub-Branches At China's Pilot Free Trade Zone

Vanessa Doctor, Asia Correspondent, 1 October 2013

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The China Banking Regulatory Commission has given DBS Bank and Citibank the approval to set up sub-branches in the newly-established China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

The China Banking Regulatory Commission has given [tag|DBS Bank|]DBS Bank[/tag] and [tag|Citibank|]Citibank[/tag] the approval to set up sub-branches in the newly-established China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone.

DBS and Citi are the first two foreign banks to operate in the FTZ. DBS China will focus on servicing corporate clients at its first stage to complement its existing network in Shanghai, while Citi will provide a suite of banking products to both corporates and individuals in the zone.

The FTZ covers 29 square kilometers and was set up as a "test bed for the country's drive to deepen economic reform and providing a testing ground for free capital account convertibility of its currency," particularly at a time of slowing growth.

Free convertibility of the RMB under the capital account will be allowed on a trial basis, China's State Council said in a statement. The zone will also trial market-set interest rates, as well as ease restrictions on foreign investment.

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