HSBC became the first foreign-funded bank to open a rural bank when it opened the Hubei Suizhou Cengdu HSBC Rural Bank Co Ltd Thursday in central China’s Hubei province, the Shanghai Business Journal reported. It aims for the bank to break even in three years and plans to open more rural banks. The bank, which is wholly owned by HSBC with US$1.36 million (RMB10 million) in registered capital, will initially offer financing and banking services for export-oriented rural firms. It will begin offering commercial loans to individual rural farmers from next year. The Cengdu district in the city of Suizhou covers about 6,900 square kilometers and has a population of two million. The city has a dynamic export-oriented agricultural sector.

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