July 7, 2016 / 9:02 PM / 2 years ago

Bank of China seeks to open its first Chilean branch

SANTIAGO, July 7 (Reuters) - Chile’s bank regulator said on Thursday that Bank of China has applied for authorization to open a branch in the country, which would make it the second Chinese-owned bank with a presence in the South American nation.

“The proposal presented...is under study, in accordance with the requirements and deadlines laid out in the General Bank Law,” the regulator said in a note on its website.

Bank of China operates in 41 countries and is China’s fourth-biggest lender by assets.

In May, China Construction Bank was given the go-ahead to begin operations in Chile, making it the first clearing bank for the yuan in Latin America at a time when China is looking to increase the use of its currency in the region.

The Chilean domestic banking market is currently led by Banco Santander-Chile and Banco de Chile. (Reporting by Felipe Iturrieta; Writing by Gram Slattery; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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