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Bank says it plans to keep on growing

XIAMEN International Bank will continue to expand this year despite the economic slowdown, a senior banker said yesterday in Shanghai.

The Xiamen-based bank in Fujian Province expects its onshore business, including deposits, lending and profits, to grow by 35 percent to 40 percent this year, said Zheng Wei, deputy general manager.

The bank's net profits rose to 400 million yuan (US$58.74 million) in 2008, 30 percent up on the year before.

"The financial crisis not only brings challenges but opportunities as well," Zheng said. "We will make use of merger and acquisition financing this year as these activities pick up and authorities give the go-ahead for credit for such transactions."

He added: "Our bank, unlike the bigger players, is still in its growing stage. That's why we will keep expanding despite the financial crisis."

The bank is to add six to 10 new outlets in existing markets such as Beijing and Shanghai this year, Zheng said.

It opened its third outlet in Shanghai on Weihai Road yesterday.

The bank is the country's first joint venture bank with a registered capital of 1.1 billion yuan. Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, Fujian Investment and Enterprise Holdings Corp, Xiamen C&D Corp, Min Xin Holdings, Asian Development Bank, Shinsei Bank from Japan and Sino Finance Group Co from the United States set up the bank in 1985 in southern Fujian Province.


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