The State Council has granted approval to the first batch of 10 licenses for private banks, with Guangdong, Jiangsu and Zhejiang awarded two each, New Express Daily reported Tuesday, citing sources close to the authority. Under the regulations for the trial private bank scheme, operators will need to set aside between 500 million yuan (US$81.86 million) and 1 billion yuan as initial registered capital, and increase it gradually after operations begin. Each bank should have no more than 20 shareholders, and the largest shareholder should not own more than a 20 percent stake. The other shareholders should not have more than 10 percent each. As of the end of September, as many as 27 private firms had applied for a banking license, the report said.
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