HONG KONG - China has authorized BankAmerica Corp. to open a representative office in Dalian, Liaoning Province, marking the first time a foreign bank has received approval to open an office there.

The office is the fourth for the U.S. bank in China and will be used to provide business liaisons, information, and assistance to customers interested in doing business in northeast China.

The bank already has full-service branches in Shanghai and Guangzhou and a representative office in Beijing.

BankAmerica has been rapidly building up its retail and corporate banking operations across Asia. Last week, the San Francisco-based bank said it has obtained approval from Vietnam's central bank to open a branch in Hanoi.

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