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Morgan Stanley gains foothold in China

Morgan Stanley gains foothold in China

(3 October 2006 – China) Morgan Stanley is the latest foreign bank to invest in China, purchasing Nan Tung Bank from owner Bank of China for an undisclosed sum. Nan Tung is a single branch bank with just 40 staff. It is currently only authorised to deal in foreign currencies, such as US and Hong Kong dollars.

However, the deal will give Morgan Stanley a foothold in China, and more importantly, one that comes with a commercial banking license. Normally, foreign banks have to operate in China for five years before being granted a license.

China’s Banking Regulatory Commission has approved the deal and Morgan Stanley is expected to apply to offer products in Chinese reminbi.

"We are pleased to be the first among our peers to establish an onshore commercial banking platform in China," Morgan Stanley CEO John Mack said.

"We want to build the leading, fully integrated financial services firm in China and the acquisition of Nan Tung Bank is another important milestone in our pursuit of that strategy," he said.

Nam Tung is based in Zhuhai, in China’s south.

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