16 September 2019

Britain said to lower entry threshold for China banks

Britain will make it easier for Chinese banks to set up branches in London, another step toward turning the country into a financial investment hub for Asia’s biggest economy, Chinese media reported Tuesday.

British Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne made the remarks during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai {馬凱} at the fifth Sino-UK economic and financial dialogue in Beijing, news website reported.

China and Britain began the annual high-level discussions in 2008.

Ma said he expects Britain to support Chinese lenders in opening wholesale branches and strengthen London’s infrastructure for its offshore renminbi market.

China is aiming for US$100 billion in bilateral trade in 2015, the report said.

Also, the two sides signed agreements on 80 billion yuan (US$13.1 billion) of quotas under China’s renminbi qualified foreign institutional investor scheme which allows offshore yuan to be invested in Chinese capital markets, Bloomberg News reported, citing Osborne.

That is on top of the 270 billion yuan already allocated to Hong Kong.

Tuesday’s agreement is “an opportunity for bonds to be issued and money to be raised”, Osborne said. “A great nation like China should have a great global currency.”

In addition, China and Britain agreed to have direct trading of their currencies, Bloomberg quoted Ma as saying. He did not mention a time frame.

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EJ Insight reporter