Where in China did foreign banks initially begin to offer RMB services and are other services/investments intended?
Approximately 30 foreign banks licensed since 1996 to offer limited RMB services in Shenzhen and Shanghai are moving to meet the requirements to provide services in Tianjin and Dalian. Bank of East Asia, Citibank, HSBC, and Xiamen International Bank won licenses in early 2002 to launch foreign-currency lending services in specific cities. Foreign banks are also raising their direct investment in China's healthier small commercial banks: HSBC acquired an 8% stake in the Bank of Shanghai in December 2001, while in recent months the World Bank's International Finance Corp. increased its stake in the Bank of Shanghai to 7% and purchased a 15% stake in Nanjing City Commercial Bank. In total, the assets of foreign banks in China reached US$ 45.1 billion at the end of 2001.