China authorized to operate a second private bank

Chinese regulators have given the green light to the start of operations of the second private bank, Webank, in the process of reforming the financial sector.

The decision of the Banking Regulatory Commission China (CRBC), which reported today the state news agency Xinhua, comes after the agency this fall authorize the creation of five private banks.

The majority shareholder of the bank is the giant Tencent, the largest company in internet and mobile phones in China, and indeed both entities are based in the southern city of Shenzhen.

The new bank has a registered capital of 3.000 billion yuan (about 490 million), and plans to focus on private and corporate banking and international operations, said the CBRC.

The creation of new private banks is part of a pilot program to further liberalize the financial sector and also increase and facilitate access to credit for small businesses.

So far, the only private bank China Minsheng Bank China was established in 1996 in Beijing.