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Cathay United Bank first to open in Shanghai trade zone

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行) on Friday inaugurated a sub-branch in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone (FTZ), the first Taiwanese bank to establish a presence in the FTZ.

Cathay United Bank is the banking arm of Cathay Financial Holding Co (國泰金控). The bank will open the FTZ sub-branch of its main Shanghai branch in the zone and give it the same scope of business as the full branch, which started operations in December 2010.

Local news media reported that because the sub-branch is located in the FTZ, it will not face any limits on lending to finance cross-border trade activity conducted inside the zone and will be allowed to freely exchange Chinese yuan and foreign currencies.

In addition to the Shanghai branch and the FTZ sub-branch, Cathay United Bank established another sub-branch in Shanghai's Minhang district (閔行區) in March 2014.

Cathay United Bank has also received a green light from the mainland's financial regulator to set up a branch in Qingdao in Shandong province, and it has obtained approval from Taiwan's Financial Supervisory Commission (金融監督管理委員會) to open a subsidiary in Shanghai to further boost its visibility in the Chinese city.

China opened the Shanghai FTZ in September 2013 as a model for future market opening reforms.

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Chen Tsu-pei (陳祖培), second left, the president of Cathay Financial Holdings (國泰金控) and Cathay United Bank (國泰世華銀行), shakes hands with Shanghai Taiwan Affairs Office Director Lee Wen-hui (李文輝), second right, for photos to commemorate the grand opening of Cathay United Bank Shanghai's sub-branch in the city's free trade zone. (CNA)

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