CHASE Manhattan Bank has been given permission to establish a representative office in Shanghai and is hoping to open for business next month. The New York group is also actively seeking approval to proceed with its first full branch in China and has earmarked Tianjin as a likely starting point. Chase Asia Pacific executive vice-president Timothy McGinnis indicated yesterday that future expansion plans in China would focus on the middle and north of the country with the Hongkong office continuing to service the south. The bank operates currently with one representative office in Beijing and believes it would be unnecessary duplication if it opened a second outpost in Tianjin with only representative powers. A full branch would also be better equipped to handle the rapid industrialisation and growth of the northern port city, the focus of considerable South Korean investment. Competition for corporate finance-related work is also less intense than in the south, where overseas bank representation is much greater.