Top officials from China Minsheng Banking Corp will be in Hong Kong next month on a head-hunting mission in a bid to catch up with its foreign rivals. President Dong Wenbiao said executives would be recruited for the bank's new credit-card unit, information technology and finance departments. He would not say how many people the bank was hoping to hire or what salaries would be offered. The bank is the latest mainland entity to seek overseas talent and expertise to help it catch up with international standards. Hong Kong is usually the preferred place for recruitment. Companies and industry associations from Beijing, Guangdong and Shanghai are offering attractive salaries to suitable candidates. Mr Dong said the bank would search for executives with credit-card experience, as it tried to build its credit-card business from scratch. Minsheng's recruitment move comes as Chinese lenders face increasing competition from more experienced foreign rivals after the mainland's World Trade Organisation entry. They will face head-on competition from December 2006. This year, foreign banks are set to gain approval to issue credit cards, albeit only foreign-currency cards.