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BRANCH BANKING | Staff Reporter, Taiwan
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Taiwan sees more business for its banks in China

China should facilitate the entry of more foreign banks into its restricted banking sector.

Taiwan Stock Exchange President Samuel Hsu urged to further open its market to Taiwan's banking sector to meet the growing but unmet financing needs of thousands of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the mainland.

Hsu said many Taiwanese banks are very experienced at extending loans to SMEs and could use their expertise to serve the business sector in China. He pointed out that since Taiwan has some 1.2 million SMEs, its banking sector has built up vast experience in providing credit for these firms.

“If China allows more Taiwanese banks to provide services in its market, I am sure that the banks will be able to share their experiences with their Chinese counterparts and grow with the mainland market,” Hsu said.

Hsu also urged Chinese financial authorities to relax regulations on investments in the securities and insurance businesses for Taiwanese operators.

Hsu said, he expects cross-Taiwan Strait financial exchanges will increase following the recent opening of a Taiwan branch by the Bank of China, and the opening this month of a branch on Taiwan by the Bank of Communications, another major mainland bank.

Bank of Taiwan, the largest Taiwanese bank, however, has not been allowed to open a branch in China.

Economic cross-strait exchanges are the rise. Trade between Taiwan and China totaled US$160 billion in 2011, and the accumulated Taiwanese investments on the mainland exceed US$100 billion.

Hsu hopes Taipei and Beijing will sign a currency settlement agreement as soon as possible.

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