Shenzhen-based China Merchants Bank plans to enlarge its capital base by the end of this year but has ruled out bringing in a foreign partner to do so, its president says. Wang Shizhen said the bank's total assets increased to 120 billion yuan (about HK$110.4 billion) by the end of June, compared to last year's 102 billion yuan. He said the bank would apply to upgrade its representative office in Hong Kong to a full branch once its assets reached the Hong Kong Monetary Authority's requirement of US$16 billion. Mr Wang said the bank also wanted to improve its capital adequacy ratio. 'Our capital adequacy ratio has fallen in the last two years as a result of rapid expansion,' he said. 'The current ratio is slightly higher than 9 per cent.' That barely met the 8 per cent minimum set by the Bank for International Settlements. Mr Wang said the bank was considering raising capital from its 93 shareholders or bringing in new mainland partners. He rejected the possibility of any of its shareholders injecting their interest in the bank into any Hong Kong-listed companies. There has been speculation recently that China Merchants (Holdings) might inject its stake in China Merchants Bank into one of its two listed arms in the SAR.