(Yicai Global) Nov. 29 -- United Overseas Bank (China) Ltd. (UOB China), a subsidiary of Singapore-based United Overseas Bank Ltd [SGX:U11], has set up a branch in Kunming, Yunnan, representing a key step in its engagement in the One Belt, One Road Initiative, said UOB Chief Executive Christine Ip.
The financial market in the mainland has become more open, and shows great opportunity for UOB, she added. The company is currently in contact with regulators, to acquire more financial licenses, in order to beef up its presence in the market.
China's regulator has recently indicated it is easing restrictions related to foreign participation in its financial sector. Zhu Guangyao, vice minister of finance, recently announced plans to relax restrictions on the equity ratio for banks with foreign investment and other financial enterprises. Chinese and foreign investors will be treated equally in terms of shareholdings in Chinese commercial banks and asset management companies.
The country should open its electronic payment area in an all-round way, and foreign businesses are welcomed and encouraged to play a part in the development and competition related to this sector in China, said Fan Yifei, vice president of central bank, the People's Bank of China (PBOC).
In terms of the above policy, UOB China is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UOB, and its holding of shares of other banks or financial enterprises will be discussed by the group, said Peter Foo Moo Tan, president and chief executive of UOB China. However, what is clear is that the fundamental purpose of acquisitions should be in keeping with the corporate's core business strategy, which should be able to boost the company's service ability or bring more advanced technologies or attract bigger customer base, he added.