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People's Daily Online>>China Business

100th outlet but BEA eyes more

(Shanghai Daily)

09:53, December 09, 2011

Hong Kong's Bank of East Asia, which has set its sights on offering loans to smaller businesses, opened its 100th outlet in Shanghai yesterday.

The opening makes Bank of East Asia (China) Ltd the second biggest overseas bank on the Chinese mainland by outlets. The bank also said that it will open at least 10 new outlets annually on the mainland. BEA set up its first branch in Shanghai in 1920.

Although most of its outlets are in coastal areas the bank also targets first-tier and smaller cities to build up its corporate banking business. So far BEA has a presence in 29 cities on the mainland.

The Hong Kong-based bank has prioritized business loans to small- and mid-sized companies as part of its strategy amid China's economic restructuring. Small firms may contribute up to 20 percent of its profits in one to two years, it said. They now account for over 10 percent of its profits.

The bank, which offers yuan-backed debit and credit cards on the mainland, is the first lender to issue yuan-backed bonds in Hong Kong and the mainland.

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