Deutsche Bank opened a locally incorporated unit in Beijing yesterday, a move that will allow the German lender to run a wide range of retail businesses on the mainland. Deutsche Bank will convert its branches and sub-branches in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou into outlets of Deutsche Bank China, the locally incorporated unit. The mainland allowed foreign banks to operate retail Chinese currency businesses in December 2006 - as part of its commitments to the World Trade Organisation - on the condition that the lenders become locally incorporated. To meet the requirement, a number of big foreign banks, including HSBC Holdings, Citibank and Standard Chartered Bank, made the move last year. Several smaller foreign banks are set to open their units this year. Deutsche Bank China will be allowed to engage in a broad range of banking services, including foreign exchange and yuan business such as receiving deposits and lending, buying and selling government and financial bonds, and buying and selling foreign currency-denominated securities other than stocks. 'Locally incorporating in China is a major milestone in Deutsche Bank's development,' said Colin Grassie, chief executive of Deutsche Bank Asia Pacific. 'Our aim is to directly participate in the development of China's financial services as broadly as possible.' The bank recently launched private and business banking through retail sub-branches in Shanghai and Beijing. In June last year, it launched a credit-card joint venture with Huaxia Bank, in which Deutsche Bank has a 9.9 per cent shareholding. Lee Zhang, chairman of Deutsche Bank China, said the launch of the unit reflected the bank's commitment to the mainland market.