Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Scotiabank Gets Foreign Institutional Investor Status in China

Canadian Press, 12 April 2006

Chinese regulator gives Scotiabank approval to trade shares in local currency.

Chinese securities regulators have granted Scotiabank permission to trade shares and bonds denominated in Renminbi, the local currency.

The China Securities Regulatory Commission has granted the Canadian bank Qualified Foreign Institutional Investor status, Scotiabank announced Wednesday.

“We are very pleased to be the first Canadian bank to have been granted QFII status in the People's Republic of China,” Rob Pitfield, executive vice-president of international banking, said in a release.

In addition, Scotiabank said it recently received approval to conduct derivatives activities in China, allowing it to offer interest rate, currency, commodity and other derivative products to companies in China and abroad.

“We have been working to expand the services available to our clients in this country, and the addition of the QFII and the ability to offer derivative products mark further important milestones in this progress,” Pitfield said.

Scotiabank has had a presence in China for more than two decades, since opening the Beijing representative office in 1982. It subsequently opened branches in Guangzhou, serving the southern region, and Chongqing, serving the northern and western regions. Earlier this year, BNS announced that it had received approval to convert its representative office in Shanghai to full branch status, covering the eastern region and, when opened, will be the only Canadian bank in this important city. With this addition, BNS is the only Canadian bank in China with broad coverage from offices in all key regions.

Royal Bank of Canada similarly announced earlier this year that it received a full branch licence from Chinese regulators for its Beijing office.

RBC spokeswoman Beja Rodeck said Wednesday that obtaining a QFII license “is an option that is under consideration” for Royal.

Numerous foreign banks are looking for a foothold in China's rapidly developing economy.

BMO boasts that it was the eighth foreign bank permitted to operate in the capital city, Beijing.