China has authorized BankAmerica Corp. and nine foreign banks to apply for licenses to engage in the local currency business.

The other banks are Japan's Sumitomo Bank and Sakura Bank, ABN Amro Bank, Dresdner Bank AG, Bank of East Asia, Credit Suisse First Boston, Credit Lyonnais, Development Bank of Singapore, and Overseas-Chinese Banking Corp.

In December 1996, China let nine other banks, including Citicorp, engage in local currency lending and trading, but limited the amount of business they can do. As a result, local currency lending has yielded few if any benefits to U.S. and other foreign banks.

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