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Westpac’s shareholders are cheering: Here’s why

Westpac Banking Corporation (ASX: WBC), one of Australia’s largest banks, has announced today that it plans to launch a new derivatives business in China.

On Thursday, the bank reported that it had been granted a general derivatives licence by the China Banking Regulatory Commission (CBRC). It is only the third bank ever to be granted a licence to trade derivatives in China.

Bala Swaminathan, Westpac’s general manager for Asia said,

“A key growth area for our business is supporting the rapid development of the currency and financial markets in China.”

Alongside ANZ Bank (ASX: ANZ), Westpac is the only other bank that has permission to operate as a market maker to directly trade between the Australian dollar and the Chinese Renminbi.

With credit growth in Australia over the past few years hard to come by, Aussie banks are expanding their horizons in an effort to generate growth.

Westpac shares were up 0.9% at $30.58 at lunchtime.

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Motley Fool writer/analyst Mike King doesn't own shares in any companies mentioned. You can follow Mike on Twitter @TMFKinga

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