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Bank of America to seek approval for securities firm in China - Bloomberg News

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(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp is planning to file an application to set up a securities firm in China as part of its strategy to expand into the country's burgeoning financial services market, Bloomberg News reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Bank of America is expected to seek regulatory approval early next year, the report added, and is also planning to submit applications for licenses that will allow it to trade and underwrite stocks and bonds, among other things.

The lender's latest move comes a year after China approved rules allowing global banks to operate fully-controlled businesses in the country.

In August, JPMorgan Chase got the green light from Beijing to become the first foreign owner of a brokerage in China, while in October Goldman Sachs received approval from Chinese regulators to take full control of its mainland securities business.

Western banks have increasingly moved towards China's expanding capital markets, driven by lucrative underwriting fees on equity and bond transactions. Full ownership of business units will allow banks to expand their operations in the multi-trillion-dollar Chinese financial sector.

In July, China said it would continue to loosen rules for foreign banks and insurance companies to enter the market in an effort to lure more foreign investment and to shore up its economy.

(Reporting by Manya Saini in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)

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