HONG KONG - Citibank said it has become the first U.S.-based bank to obtain approval from the People's Bank of China to operate a branch in Beijing.

The Citibank representative office in the Chinese capital is to be upgraded to a branch by the end of September.

The Citicorp subsidiary said it will handle cash management and foreign trade products along with lending and financial advisory services.

Citibank, which moved its China headquarters from Hong Kong to Shanghai in 1993, will join a handful of overseas banks operating branches in Beijing. The New York bank has two other branches, in Shanghai and Shenzhen, and representative offices in Guangzhou and Xiamen.

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