Major South Korean lender Nonghyup Bank has applied for China's approval to open a branch in Beijing as part of its Asian push, industry sources said Tuesday.
Nonghyup Bank, which lodged the application with the China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission late last month, is expected to receive preliminary approval by February at the latest.
It usually takes six months to receive preliminary approval from the Chinese financial authorities to open a branch in the world's second-largest economy.
In light of the process for winning final approval, there is a high possibility of Nonghyup Bank opening its first Beijing branch around the end of next year, according to the sources.
It would mark Nonghup Bank's first establishment of an overseas business operation after setting up a wholly owned subsidiary in Cambodia in 2018.
Among South Korea's five major banks, Nonghyup Bank is the only one that has no business operations in China. In 2013, Nonghyup Bank opened a representative office in Beijing.
The latest move is part of Nonghyup Bank's push to expand its presence in Asia. The lender is seeking to upgrade its representative offices in New Delhi and Ho Chi Minh City into branches by next year.
Nonghyup Bank is also pushing for a plan to open investment bank desks in New York, Hong Kong and Sydney. The lender currently operates a branch in New York. (Yonhap)