Citigroup announced plans Wednesday to incorporate its China operations locally, the Financial Times reported, following in the footsteps of HSBC and Standard Chartered, which both have said they wish to meet new government requirements for doing local-currency retail banking. Citigroup's announcement follows this week's publication of detailed implementation guidelines by mainland authorities, setting out the requirements for gaining access to the domestic RMB banking market. Another eight banks, including ABN Amro and Deutsche Bank, are expected to incorporate locally, according to Chinese authorities. The new rules were a positive step in the development of China's banking sector, said Citigroup, which has 13 branches on the mainland, half the number HSBC has. More than 70 overseas banks have set up 238 operating branches in China but by the end of 2005 they accounted for only 0.55% of local currency loans.