SALOMON Brothers has won approval to open a representative office in Beijing. The company's chairman and chief executive officer Deryck Maughan attended a reception to mark the occasion in the Great Hall of the People last night. In a company statement, he said he was ''optimistic about the short-term and long-term prospects of the PRC's economy as the structural and institutional reforms are in place and the pace of economic reform is continuing to support progress toward a more open market''. The company was still considering whether to open an office in Shanghai, a spokesman said. Salomon will have three bankers based in Beijing in order to make contacts within the government, according to a spokesman in Hong Kong. The spokesman said the firm had already been involved in major China deals including February's US$1 billion global bond, Luoyang Glass and Ma'anshan Iron and Steel. The global bond launched into rising interest rates and the yield has risen as high as 8.89 per cent and is currently above 8.5 per cent. The bond was issued to yield 6.69 per cent or 88 basis points above the 10-year US Treasury. Luoyang Glass slumped 20 per cent on its first day's trading last Friday and the flop has meant pricing on Shanghai Haixing Shipping's proposed issue has been delayed as a result. Salomon Brothers is also set to have a slice of this issue. Lead underwriter Morgan Grenfell (Asia) wants the price to carry a price-earnings ratio in single digits. Despite the current woes, Salomon Brothers is to continue to seek corporate finance work and bond issues in China. ''Salomon Brothers China will primarily involve itself in providing corporate finance and advisory services for power energy and infrastructure projects, as well as facilitating Chinese state owned enterprises to access the international debt and equity markets,'' said Mr Maughan. Leader of Salomon's team in Beijing is Pang Chung-min, investment banking director now named as senior representative in China. Before joining the firm in October 1992, he spent eight years with the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. Salomon Brothers has a staff of over 270 to cover 14 Asian countries including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, China and the Philippines.