FOREIGN EXCHANGE | Cesar Tordesillas, China

Germany's Commerzbank to expand in China by 30%

Commerzbank AG aims to grow its corporate banking business in China by as much as 30 percent this year.

The German bank's revenue in China grew more than 30 percent last year, compared with expectations of 20 percent, said Michael Kotzbauer, regional board member for Asia at the bank.

The bank is expecting fast expansion in the Chinese market this year, supported by rapid growth in yuan-denominated business.

The new yuan-denominated accounts of European customers are likely to rise rapidly, according to the bank's senior managers.

"We see renminbi-denominated cross-border trades are picking up, as an increasing number of Chinese companies use the currency to pay overseas while many German companies are receiving renminbi in Germany", notes Kotzbauer.

The number of yuan accounts "has seen triple-digit growth" and cross-border transactions in the Chinese currency have expanded considerably, said the bank, without disclosing exact numbers.

Commerzbank is studying and improving transactions in renminbi-denominated derivatives, including options and swaps, according to Nick Johnston, head of corporates and markets for Asia at the bank.

"We plan to issue renminbi equities when the time is appropriate," said Johnston.

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