China Regulator Wants Rural Lenders to Sell Shares

China's banking regulator urged the nation's rural credit cooperatives to seek strategic investors and sell shares to the public.

China's rural banks extended 1.4 trillion yuan ($197 billion) of loans in 2007, the China Banking Regulatory Commission said in a statement. China also welcomes foreign banks to invest in rural lenders, Wang Zhaoxing, vice chairman of the regulator, said in a briefing in Beijing today.

What's needed from overseas banks is ``expertise and ideas'' rather than money, said Zang Jingfan, who oversees financial cooperation at the nation's banking watchdog. ``We want to bring in new technologies from abroad.''

Muhammad Yunus, founder of the Grameen Bank and Nobel Prize winner, now serves as an economic adviser to southern China's Hainan province and is working with various Chinese provinces and cities to develop microfinance projects, Zang said.

To contact the reporter for this story: Josephine Lau in Beijing at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andreea Papuc at

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