Republic National Bank of New York has opened a representative office in Beijing, becoming the third major U.S. bank to expand its presence in China recently.

The subsidiary of Republic New York Corp. plans to market a broad range of services, including foreign exchange, money market, and treasury market trading, through the Beijing office.

The bank will also offer precious-metals trading and factoring services, chairman and chief executive Walter H. Weiner said in a statement.

Other Asian Outposts

Republic, which has $31 billion in assets, has five other Asian presences: branches in Hong Kong and Tokyo, representative offices in Jakarta and Taipei, and a branch and subsidiary in Singapore.

U.S. banks are taking a growing interest in China as its economy develops and the Chinese government allows foreign banks to expand operations.

Previous Restraints

In May, the government authorized foreign banks to set up branches in three cities from which they were previously barred.

Until the liberalization, foreign banks could operate only in major cities like Shanghai and Beijing, and in special economic zones.

Last Tuesday, Citicorp chairman John S. Reed was quoted in press reports from Hong Kong as saying that Citibank intends to add more branches and representative offices in China over the next few years in response to growing customer demand.

Both Citicorp and Bank-America Corp. opened Shanghai branches last year.

In another sign last week that U.S. banks are returning to an expansion mode in foreign countries, Bank of Boston Corp. announced that it was opening a representative office in Mexico.

The Boston bank has not wavered from a long-standing commitment to Latin America.

It opened its first branch in Argentina 75 years ago and has 80 branches in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Uruguay.

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