Comerica Inc. said Tuesday that it has received preliminary approval from the Canadian government to form a commercial banking subsidiary in Canada.

Comerica Bank-Canada is Detroit-based Comerica's first full-scale entry into Canada, a spokesman said. The new bank will be headquartered in Toronto and is expected to begin operations in the second half of 1998.

Philip H. Buxton, Comerica's representative in Canada, has been named the new bank's managing director and chief executive officer. Comerica Bank-Canada will serve Comerica's customers in Canada-large to midsize Canadian corporations-as well as U.S. and other companies operating there.

"Our physical presence in Canada follows a similar pattern taken in the opening of our commercial banking subsidiary in Mexico in 1997," Douglas A. Ransdell, Comerica senior vice president.

"Both markets are essential in our strategy to build integrated North American solutions for our corporate customers," he added.

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