Not sure if I’m dreaming or not but it would appear that the Chinese regulator has approved the first ever bank in China to launch an online foreign exchange sale and purchase business. The Bank of China is the first Chinese bank to receive such an approval believe it or not – I’m not really sure how the exchange business worked until now except through forex kiosks (Travelex being one of the largest) and commercial banks.
Clients can conduct foreign exchange sales and purchases via online banking as long as they have opened passbooks of time deposits accounts or debit cards, and have registered for online banking.
The bank for now will offer the following nine foreign currencies, including the British pound, Hong Kong dollar, US dollar, Japanese yen, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, the euro, Swiss francs, and the Singapore dollar.
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Furthermore, the State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) issued four more “Authorized Currency Exchange” licenses to non-financial companies in Beijing: Beijing United Currency Exchange, International Currency Exchange, Beijing National Insurance Agency and Huanjiuzhou Currency Exchange.
Right now there are 15 authorized kiosks in China.
While this is not the revolution all forex brokers are eagerly anticipating this is still a very positive sign of China gradually opening up for online retail forex trading which is still largely illegal throughout this massive country. Something tells me we will see more and more such notices during 2010.