Citibank establishes head office

CITIBANK officially opened its China country corporate office in Shanghai yesterday, having been the first foreign bank to secure a licence for a mainland head office.

By moving its China corporate office from Hong Kong to Shanghai, the bank aims to further ''expand its banking franchise in China, and to be more pro-active in meeting the needs of various segments of its client base''.

Although there were many limitations in the highly regulated environment in China, the demand for quality financial services was genuine, the bank said.

''This requirement is pressing and growing as China's economy develops,'' said Cheng Chung-ping, the bank's country corporate officer for China.

The bank has two branches, in Shanghai and Shenzhen, and three representative offices, in Guangzhou, Beijing and Xiamen.

Its development plan for China includes upgrading the Guangzhou office to a full branch.