A GERMAN export-credit finance bank is to open a representative office in Hong Kong to support Germany's export thrust into China. IKB Deutsche Industriebank has chosen the territory as the site for its first overseas office because of the large amount of business its German customer base is doing in China and the surrounding region. Dr Eckhard Gottschalk, a member of the bank's board of managing directors, said the bank concentrated on long-term funds for medium-sized companies. 'At first, we will be concentrating on supporting exports, but later we expect to assist companies to relocate production facilities to China and East Asia,' he said. The bank lends from a minimum of three million deutschemarks (about HK$13.35 million) and the size of loans is limited by what Hermes, the German Export Credit Guarantee system, will allow according to its risk limits. Most of the bank's customers were medium-sized engineering companies, Dr Gottschalk said. The bank had 9,000 customers. They sold machine tools, plant and equipment to China, Indonesia and other countries in the region, said Stefan Rensinghoff, chief representative in Hong Kong.