Dongfeng Motor Group, one of China's Big Three state-owned carmakers, has been granted approval for a financing joint venture with the Bank of China. Under the agreement, the bank would take a 50 per cent stake through its insurance arm, with the remaining 50 per cent split between Dongfeng and its partner Peugeot Citroen. Dongfeng president Liu Zhangmin, explaining why the deal was not mentioned in its listing prospectus, said the joint venture was only given approval by the China Banking Regulatory Commission a few days ago. The company's shares are due to make their debut on the stock exchange today. The international tranche of the share offer was seven times subscribed and the retail tranche about two times taken up, according to the company. Although no details of total investments had been disclosed, under present legislation a car financing entity was required to have registered capital of at least 500 million yuan, Mr Liu said. The financing joint venture is the first involving a mainland bank. So far, six car financing entities - five of which are wholly foreign-owned and one formed by General Motors Corp and Shanghai Auto - have been approved. One analyst associated with Dongfeng said he believed the company had not wanted to mention the joint venture because it would not appeal to institutional investors. 'It is certainly not a selling point. Moreover, the deal size is small compared with the company's asset value, which may be another reason why it has been so reserved about the deal,' the analyst said.