Bank of China in talks with Temasek on rural bank

Kelvin Soh & Clare Jim

Bank of China, China’s fourth largest bank, said on Tuesday it was in talks with Temasek Holdings, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, to set up a rural business bank in China.

The bank under discussion would have 40-60 branches, President Li Lihui told reporters at a media briefing to discuss Bank of China’s 2009 results.

He also said Bank of China would prefer to enter the newly opened Taiwan market by opening a branch there rather than buying a stake in a local bank.