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Banks jostle to open first branch in Taiwan

BANK of China and its rivals are vying to be the first lender to open a branch in Taiwan after a long-awaited memorandum of understanding between the Chinese mainland and the island was signed.

Li Lihui, president of Bank of China, said he will immediately apply to open a branch in Taiwan as the MOU was inked.

The Chinese mainland and Taiwan signed the deal today in Taipei to allow banks, brokers and insurers to conduct business in each other's market for the first time. The agreement will take effect in two months.

The bank has already considered the president of the coming branch, which will start with 20-plus staff. The bank plans to hire Taiwan locals, Li said.

Li said he has already visited several places to consider the location of the coming branch when he visited Taiwan in September.

Li said he expects the coming branch could break even within two to three years of operation.

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Bank of Communications and China Construction Bank all said earlier that they plan to set up a Taiwan business once the deal is signed.


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