J.P. Morgan & Co. has obtained approval from South Africa to convert its local representative office into a branch.

Morgan opened a representative office and a securities unit in South Africa in 1997. The bank said that a branch is necessary to provide a full range of corporate banking services. Morgan had engaged mainly in trading local fixed-income securities, futures contracts, and equities.

Morgan is one of six U.S. banks with offices in South Africa. The others are Bankers Trust New York Corp., Bank of New York Corp., First Union Corp., BankAmerica Corp., and Citicorp.

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