Morgan Stanley annouced it acquried China’s Nan Tung Bank, and in the process picked up a coveted commercial banking license, allowing it to begin doing business in RMB-denominated transactions.
Nan Tung is a small bank, with only a single branch and less than 40 employees, but the deal includes that license and therefore is a major breakthrough for Morgan Stanley. Although some other foreign bank have the authority to offer yuan-based financial products on the mainland, Morgan Stanley’s US rivals Goldman Sachs, Merryl Lynch and Lehman Brothers do not.
The American investment bank will still have to apply for each individual product that it plans to release – not a simple process – but this is a major step out in front of its rivals in the lucrative Chinese banking sector.
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