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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs  12 November 2010

Indonesian Bank to Open in Shanghai

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After three years of waiting, Indonesia's largest lender, Bank Mandiri, has obtained a permit to open a branch in Shanghai, its first step into the world's most populous country.

China's Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC) issued the permit November 3.

Bank executive Thomas Arifin said on Thursday that Mandiri now would submit a business operation application to CBRC.

"We're hoping the Shanghai branch, which we've been trying to establish since 2007, will open in the first half next year to serve various banking activities, such as garnering corporate deposits, disbursing corporate loans, export-import transactions and remittance," he said.

It would help boost Indonesia and China's business relationship and support Jakarta's efforts to achieve the trade target of $50 billion with China in 2011.

The Shanghai branch will be Mandiri's seventh outside Indonesia.

Mandiri said the opening of the branch was due to the help of the central bank, the government and stakeholders who continuously lobbied the CBRC on the bank's behalf.

Mandiri is considering opening its next branch office in Malaysia, where it hopes to tap into the large population of Indonesian domestic workers.

Bank Mandiri was granted an "incorporated subsidiary" license by Bank Negara Malaysia, Malaysia's central bank, but Mandiri was told it must pay a fee of 300 million ringgit ($94 million), a figure the bank said was more than the cost of opening the branch.

Bank Mandiri uses Mandiri International Remittance, a non-banking firm, to serve customers who want to transfer money between Malaysia to Indonesia.

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