China Merchants Bank said that is one of at least five Chinese banks applying to open branches in Taiwan, Bloomberg reported. Ma Weihua, the lender’s chief executive officer said in an interview that China Merchants has “participated in the discussion” of a financial-services agreement between the mainland and Taiwan. According to reports, a memorandum of understanding is close to being agreed upon, with only some details left to be finalized. The Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), the world’s largest lender by market value, and Bank of Communications have also said they plan to set up branches in Taiwan after an agreement between the mainland and Taiwan is reached. Currently, the Bank of China is the only mainland bank permitted to conduct foreign-currency exchange with Taiwan.
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