BRANCH BANKING | Cesar Tordesillas, China

China now hosts 14 HK bank branches

There are now 14 Hong Kong-based bank branches on the Chinese mainland nine years after the signing of a key economic plan.

The mainland and Hong Kong signed the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement in 2003, which relaxes restrictions for HK banks to invest in or buy shares of mainland commercial banks as well as lowered the requirements of the asset size for HK banks to set up branches on the mainland.

These branches of HK banks constitute 42 percent of the total overseas banks and hold respectively 35 percent of the total assets and 38 percent of the profits of overseas banks, according to People's Daily. 

As of the end of this June, six HK banks had invested in or bought shares of six mainland-based banks, the daily reported.

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