China's Banks Prepare For Battle

With WTO entry looming, they're modernizing as fast as they can

Since Shanghai Pudong Development Bank listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in November, its expansion plans have been in high gear. Using some of the $482 million it raised, SPDB will add four branches to its nationwide network of seven by yearend. It is refocusing its lending strategy, too--to emphasize China's hot high-tech and housing industries more and traditional commercial real estate development less. It's also shrinking its bad-debt load as fast as it can.

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