rbcbeijing.jpgRoyal
Bank of Canada plans to launch a JV with China Minsheng Bank, in the
latest move by a western bank to tap into China's nascent fund
management industry.

The JV, headquartered in Shanghai, will create, manage and sell
yuan-denominated mutual funds to retail and institutional investors in
China.

China Minsheng is a Beijing-based commercial bank with 240 branches in Beijing and listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

Hong Qi, executive vice-president, China Minsheng Bank, said:

The fund management market in China is poised for growth, making this an opportune time to form this joint venture.”

RBC is the minority partner in the JV with 30%, China Minsheng Bank
has 60% and Three Gorges Finance has the remaining 10%. The latter is a
financial institution set up in 1997 to serve the controversial Three
Gorges Project, which has attracted the ire of environmentalists.

The Canadian bank, like many other western banks, has been rushing
to increase its presence in China ahead of the end of 2006, which the
deadline imposed for China to fully open its financial markets.

In February of this year, it upgraded its representative office in
Beijing to a branch, and in August, the company announced the opening
of a new representative office in Beijing for its life insurance arm.

RBC also participated as co-lead manager in last week's mammoth IPO of ICBC — see our earlier story.


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