Economic Analytical Unit - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

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China Embraces the World Market

Case Studies of Australian Businesses in China

ANZ Bank

State: Victoria
Sector: Services

ANZ, Australia's third largest bank, is the only Australian bank licensed to operate in China. It received licences to provide foreign currency services to foreign companies in Shanghai in 1993 and Beijing in 1997, after first opening a representative office in Beijing in 1986. In August 2000, ANZ obtained its local currency renminbi licence to provide local currency services to foreign firms. In June 2002, as part of improved banking sector access under WTO entry, ANZ successfully obtained its licence to conduct foreign currency business with Chinese residents and businesses. ANZ offers local and foreign currency deposit accounts, local and foreign currency loans and foreign currency exchange services, money transfer and remittance services and a range of trade-related services including structured import and export finance facilities, letters of credit, bonding and guarantees.

Over time, ANZ China's business focus changed significantly, from initially offering only foreign currency services to Australian and New Zealand customers, to using its local currency renminbi licence to service these customers' domestic currency business. Since 2000, ANZ also has moved into new areas of business, including financing trade in strategic commodities like oil, iron ore, alumina, wheat, barley and wool and financing major Chinese companies' international trade operations. Over the past two years, ANZ also has increased its Chinese staff component to improve operations and lower costs.

Despite considerable remaining foreign banking restrictions, ANZ is establishing links with several complementary domestic institutions to expand its services. With the likely continuing expansion in trade and investment flows in and out of China resulting from recent reforms and WTO accession, ANZ is looking forward to continuing to expand its Chinese business.

Source: ANZ, 2002.

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