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Barclays targeting China as key market

BARCLAYS Plc plans to increase its Asian business contribution to 20 percent from last year's 12 percent of profits in a short time with China, a key market, the financial services group's chief executive said in Shanghai yesterday. John Varley said Barclays was insufficiently exposed in Asia and that the market was one of the fastest growing segments for the group.

In the past four years, Asian markets contributed less than 5 percent of the group's profits. However, that rose to 12 percent in 2008 and is expected to rise to 20 percent within a short period of time, he said, although he didn't specify a detailed timeline.

"We have a strong sense of commitment to develop business in China and Shanghai," Varley told Shanghai Mayor Han Zheng. Varley said Barclays was happy to take a role in helping Shanghai gear up as a global financial hub.

Varley said one of his main responsibilities was to diversify and internationalize the company.

The London-based company, which is partly owned by China Development Bank, is awaiting a license to do yuan business in China.

It has a network presence in Shanghai and Beijing.


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