The News: New Players Move Into China

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Seeking a career foothold in China? Your best route might be with a second-tier bank rather than a U.S. or European bulge-bracket.

The next wave of banks breaking new ground China may come from Spain, Australia and Asia, Reuters reports.

While crisis-roiled institutions including Bank of America and ING have cut back, "other lenders in Europe and North America that have traditionally focused on their home markets have joined the China pack. Spain's two biggest banks have taken the lead in the tie-ups," Reuters says. It cites an intriguing reason: China's growing business ties with Latin America.

Two of Australia's four biggest banks are ramping up in China. Commonwealth Bank of Australia owns stakes in two city commercial banks and a life insurance joint venture in Shanghai with Bank of Communications, China's fifth largest bank. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group reportedly plans to open more than 20 new outlets in China by 2012. It's waiting for China to approve its application for local incorporation. It currently owns minority stakes in two so-called city commercial banks, in Shanghai and Tianjin.

A South Korean institution, Hana Bank, was reported last September to be planning to invest $316 million for a minority stake in Bank of Jilin in northern China.

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