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Standard gets Peking go-ahead

STANDARD CHARTERED is to be given the green light to upgrade its Peking representative office to full branch status, following yesterday's meeting between the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and China's Premier, Zhu Rongji. The bank already has one of the biggest presences in China, with seven branches and more than 300 staff. Standard's chairman, Sir Patrick Gillam, said that a formal licence from the People's Bank of China will allow the bank to carry out more profitable lines of business.

Standard Chartered this year celebrates its 140th anniversary in China, making it the longest-established foreign bank there. It has had a representative office in Peking since 1982.