The Netherlands', biggest bank, ABN AMRO, and Galaxy Securities, China's largest brokerage firm, announced plans to set up a futures trading unit at the beginning of 2005. The venture would be the first by an overseas bank in China. According to the China Securities Regulatory Commission, China's futures market is limited to commodity trading on three exchanges in Dalian, Shanghai and Zhengzhou. However, the commission said it plans to expand trading to stock index futures and Chinese government bond futures and ABN AMRO executives said they expected that to happen in the next 12 months to 18 months. The venture is being negotiated under the terms of the Closer Economic Participation Agreement signed between Hong Kong and China last year. Under its terms overseas companies will be allowed to own as much as 49% of a Chinese futures venture from January 1.
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