Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd (ASX: ANZ) has become the first Australian Bank to win a full licence to offer Yuan-related products and services to Chinese citizens, according to a reports in the Australian Financial Review and The Sydney Morning Herald.

The bank will offer local currency deposits, mortgages, life insurance and wealth management products and services to the growing affluent class in China. ANZ is well ahead of other Australian competitors in the Chinese market, with a presence in four Chinese cities and also has a rural banking licence. Most of its Australian competitors have a single branch, in Shanghai.

ANZ has become more popular with investment advisers since reporting the best quarterly update of the major banks last month, and the share price has risen by more than 8%, since the beginning of the year, compared to National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) up 0.73%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd (ASX: CBA) down 0.26%, and Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC) up 3.8%.

ANZ’s Asia Strategy

ANZ is pursuing a strategy of expanding into Asia, and hopes to earn between 25% -30% of its profits from Asia by 2017. Last year, ANZ obtained a licence to operate in India.

Other Australian banks such as CBA, National Australia Bank and Westpac appear to be content focusing on Australasia, although National Australia Bank has investments in the UK, through Clydesdale Bank and Yorkshire Bank.

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Motley Fool contributor Mike King doesn’t own shares in ANZ, CBA, WBC or NAB. The Motley Fool’s purpose is to educate, amuse and enrich investors. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson. Click here to be enlightened by The Motley Fool’s disclosure policy. 

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