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China Minsheng Bank to Set Up Investment Bank Unit in Hong Kong

China Minsheng Banking Corp., the nation’s first privately owned lender, will open an investment banking arm in Hong Kong, as Chinese banks seek to take advantage of the yuan’s increased use in global trade.

The board of the Beijing-based lender approved the plan, which still needs regulatory approval, the bank said in a statement to the Shanghai stock exchange today.

Minsheng is joining its larger rivals in expanding overseas as Chinese banks exert more influence globally. China’s four biggest lenders are among the world’s ten largest, topped by Industrial & Commercial Bank of China Ltd.

Minsheng was granted a banking license in January 2012 by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, becoming the latest Chinese lender operating in the city. ICBC, China Construction Bank Corp., Agricultural Bank of China Ltd. and Bank of China Ltd. all have an investment banking unit in the city.

Bank of China was the fourth largest underwriter of yuan-denominated bonds in Hong Kong last year, a market where issuances increased 15 percent from 2011 to a record 175 billion yuan ($28 billion), according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

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