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First Chicago NBD Expands Asian Capability With New Branches In Beijing, Singapore

CHICAGO, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- First Chicago NBD Corporation (NYSE: FCN) announced today that it has expanded its commitment to serving customer needs in Asia with the opening of branches in Beijing and Singapore.

First Chicago NBD today becomes the second U.S. bank to open a branch in the capital of China with the upgrading of the facility from a representative office. Sixteen years ago, First Chicago NBD was the first foreign commercial bank to open a representative office in China since the formation of the People's Republic in 1949.

The Singapore branch, which opened last week, will serve as the bank's headquarters for Southeast Asia, which has become an important growth area for U.S. corporations.

"The expansion of First Chicago NBD's capability in Asia is driven fundamentally by the growing international business needs of our customers,'' said Chairman Verne G. Istock, who is in Beijing for the branch opening. "These branches allow us to better serve not only our U.S.-based customers but also Asian companies that want to explore entry or expansion of facilities in the Midwest."

Exports to China from the Midwestern United States -- First Chicago NBD's core market -- soared nearly 500 percent from 1987 to 1995, according to the Federal Reserve. In 1995, China was the Midwest's fourth-largest export market, with $1.2 billion in goods, led by non-electrical machinery, chemicals and electrical machinery, much of it produced by First Chicago NBD clients.

U.S. exports to Southeast Asia have grown 14 percent annually over the period 1987 to 1995, while Midwest exports to the region have increased at an annual rate of 16.8 percent.

"To support our customers, First Chicago NBD must provide capital raising, treasury, trade finance, cash management, foreign exchange, derivatives and cash management services," Istock said.

In other Asian initiatives, First Chicago NBD:

-- announced last week that it will build on its local capabilities in

Southeast Asia and Hong Kong through a special arrangement with

Standard Chartered Bank to provide in-country cash management services

in combination with expanded cross-border services. The arrangement

will serve First Chicago NBD customer needs in Thailand, Malaysia and

Indonesia, and supplement the bank's own capabilities in Hong Kong and


-- is negotiating with Asia Commercial Bank and the Ong Commodities

company to create a joint-venture futures brokerage company that would

operate under the name Ong First Chicago Asia Finance. The company,

which would be able to act as a principal on the Hong Kong Futures

Exchange, would provide customers in the China region access to futures

The corporation has been providing futures brokerage and clearing services in Singapore since 1984 through Ong First Chicago Futures, which was a founding member of Singapore International Monetary Exchange (SIMEX) and is one of the premier brokerage companies in the country.

-- marks this week the 20th anniversary of its branch in Seoul that

provides: risk management services including foreign exchange

and derivatives; treasury management services and other products

such as local currency financing.

In addition, the bank provides a full range of commercial banking services to Asian entities operating in the United States. These services are provided in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles by professionals dedicated to serving the banking needs of those customers.

In China, First Chicago NBD began a string of "firsts" in January, 1979, when it became the first American bank to establish a full correspondent relationship with Bank of China. Five months later, it was the first foreign corporation to hold a board meeting in China since the People's Republic was formed.

First Chicago NBD also was the first foreign bank to establish a joint venture with Bank of China, CCIC Finance Limited, together with The Industrial Bank of Japan and China Resources (Holding) Co. Ltd. CCIC focuses on arranging financing, trade finance, equity investment, financial advisory and consultancy and underwriting of new share offerings.

Like most international facilities of the corporation, the Beijing, Singapore and Seoul branches operate under The First National Bank of Chicago name.

The bank also has branches in Tokyo; Hong Kong; Australia (with offices in Adelaide, Sydney and Melbourne); London; and Frankfurt; as well as subsidiary banks in Toronto and Windsor, Canada, and Mexico City, and representative offices in Buenos Aires and Taipei.

First Chicago NBD Corporation is the 9th largest U.S. bank holding company and the Midwest's number one provider of financial products and services to consumers, middle market companies and large corporations. It has assets of $106.7 billion.

In 1977, First Chicago(see note) made a strategic decision to develop its business in China. First Chicago's early decisiveness and subsequent performance set the pace as many U.S. enterprises (industrial, commercial and investment, as well as banks) to begin their own activities in China and thus enhanced Chinese-U.S. commercial relations.

First Chicago's steady commitment to China has been demonstrated over the past 19 years, and, the bank is proud of the following "firsts" and other major accomplishments:

January 1979

First Chicago was the first American bank to establish a full correspondent relationship with Bank of China.

June 1979

First Chicago was the first foreign corporation to hold a Board of Directors meeting in China since 1949.

April 1980

First Chicago was the first foreign bank to establish a joint venture, CCIC Finance Limited (CCIC), with Bank of China in Hong Kong.

October 1980

First Chicago was the first foreign commercial bank, and the first American bank to open a representative office in China since 1949.

Other recent successes include:

July 1993

First Chicago Capital Markets, Inc., arranged a $100 million commercial paper program for Sinochem American Holdings Inc., the U.S. operating unit of China National Chemicals Import and Export Corp., making it the first Chinese company to access the U.S. public debt market.

April 1994

First Chicago helped China Southern Airlines finance the purchase of seven Boeing 737 aircraft, the first time that a Chinese company raised long-term funds in the U.S. securities market with credit support from Export-Import Bank of the U.S.

October 1994

First Chicago Capital Markets, Inc., arranged a $100 million short-term commercial paper program for COFCO Capital Corporation, the wholly owned subsidiary of China National Cereals, Oils & Foodstuffs Import & Export Corporation.

March 1995

First Chicago and Bank of China jointly closed a $110 million transaction, to finance the purchase of three Boeing 737 aircraft by Zhong Yuan Airlines.

June 1995

First Chicago arranged a $28 million Draft Purchase Facility for Liaoning Post and Telecommunications Administration, PRC, to purchase cellular infrastructure equipment from Motorola.

April 1996

First Chicago, CCIC and Bank of China successfully completed a $65 million term-loan facility for Wuhu Shaoda Electric Power Development Co. in Anhui province, a project in which AES of the United States is an investor. For the first time, China's power industry received overseas loans to purchase equipment from a domestic machinery plant without a Chinese bank guarantee.

SOURCE First Chicago NBD Corporation
 -0- 11/25/96

/NOTE TO EDITOR'S: The corporation does business internationally as The First National Bank of Chicago/
 /CONTACT: Thomas Kelly, 312-732-7007, or J. Richard Johnson, 312-732- 4455, both of First Chicago NBD Corporation/


CO: First Chicago NBD Corporation ST: Illinois IN: FIN SU: PDT

DS -- NYM029 -- 3516 11/25/96 09:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 25, 1996
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