Setting a precedent expected to be frequently copied as consolidation accelerates in China's bank sector, Fujian-based Industrial Bank completed its acquisition of Foshan City Commercial Bank the first takeover of a city commercial bank by a national joint-stock lender. Terms were not disclosed. The China Banking Regulatory Commission approved the project in September. The regulator has been urging small banks to combine with stronger institutions ahead of stronger foreign competition beginning in 2006, when the financial services sector opens up in compliance with China's WTO commitments. Industrial Bank reportedly plans an initial public offering in 2005 with hopes of raising nearly US$1bn.