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July 17, 2009

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CMB opens London rep office

CHINA Merchants Bank opened its representative office in London yesterday as it made its first step to tap the European market.

"We are glad to pick London as our headquarters for the European market," said Ma Weihua, president of the bank, in a statement yesterday. "London has advantages as a leading international financial hub and it is the best option for us to enter Europe."

The sixth biggest bank in China is riding on rising trade and investment between the country and the United Kingdom. The bilateral trade surged 50 percent last year to about US$60 billion. China is the UK's biggest Asian trade partner.

The bank opened its New York branch last year and became the first Chinese bank to receive a banking license in the United States since the adoption of the Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act 1991.

Ma said the New York branch and the London office will help CMB to test the waters in the global banking market.

CMB had earlier acquired a small lender, Wing Lung Bank, in Hong Kong.


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