Standard Chartered said Thursday it had applied to incorporate a local Chinese subsidiary and applied to the China Banking Regulatory Commission for a licence to do local-currency retail business, the <i>Financial Times</i> reported. New rules unveiled by Beijing this week, and due to come into effect next month, permit foreign banks to open more branches and offer renminbi-denominated retail products to local customers for the first time, providing they incorporate locally. Standard Chartered now operates 17 branches in China. Several other foreign banks, including ABN Amro, are expected to soon apply for local incorporation. But foreign banks have also expressed concern that approval procedures under the new rules will be time consuming. "Incorporation could take three months or it could take a year, depending on the detailed guidelines," Linda Wong, ABN Amro's China head, told the newspaper.