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BMO Financial Group Leads Yuan Trading in China

BMO Financial Group (TSX, NYSE: BMO) has been ranked the number one bank in the new Foreign Exchange currency pairs trading system in China.    BMO leads the list of ten notable international competitors among approved market makers. No other North American institution ranks in the top 10.   

The ranking for this new Foreign Exchange trading platform was recently published by the China Foreign Exchange Trading Systems (CFETS) and reflects volumes traded by banks in the first six months of the new trading platform. The trading platform enables only those banks selected by the CFETS to make a market in US dollars against a number of other currencies. 

China is undertaking gradual liberalisation of its capital markets.  The country's evolving F/X system and BMO's position within it will allow us to better serve our clients in this market.  We will do this by providing a greater range of F/X and investment products to our customers who have a presence in China,” said Yvan Bourdeau, Chief Executive Officer, BMO Nesbitt Burns and Head, Investment Banking Group. 

This further underlines BMO's commitment to becoming a key provider of banking services in China,” he added.

In China, there are a total of 13 market makers (eight local banks and five foreign banks) and BMO is the only Canadian and one of only two North American banks.   The 13 market maker banks are responsible for "fixing" or setting the USD/CNY spot rate each morning at 9:15 a.m. local Chinese time and quoting bid/ask of the local currency.

BMO was selected in May 2005 to work alongside the Bank of China, the CITIC Industrial Bank, the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and six other international banks (HSBC, Citigroup, Deutsche Bank, ABN Amro, ING and Royal Bank of Scotland) as a market maker for the new Foreign Exchange trading platform. 

BMO foreign exchange milestones in China

  • In July 2005, became the first Canadian bank to be granted a license to provide local currency service such as deposits and loans to both foreign and local companies in China, providing greater access to financial services in the country.
  • In November 2005, became the first Canadian bank to be granted a licence to sell derivatives instruments in China.      
  • Has been participating as a market maker in China's foreign exchange market starting in 2002;
  • Was the first Canadian bank to price and trade F/X forwards,
  • Also the first to underwrite a domestic China bond in US Dollars; and
  • Was first among 16 foreign banks in Guangzhou with more than 70 per cent market share of foreign exchange volume.

BMO has a long history in China dating back to the early 1800s, when it completed its first foreign exchange transaction helping the United States finance its growing trade with China.  Today, BMO is the only Canadian bank with branches in Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong, and was only the eighth foreign bank permitted to operate in the capital (Beijing). 

About BMO Financial Group

Established in 1817 as Bank of Montreal, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified North American financial services organization.  With total assets of more than $297 billion as at October 31, 2005, and more than 33,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and solutions.  BMO Financial Group serves clients across Canada through its Canadian retail arm, BMO Bank of Montreal, and through BMO Nesbitt Burns, one of Canada's leading full-service investment firms.  In the United States, BMO serves clients through Chicago-based Harris, an integrated financial services organization that provides more than 1 million personal, business, corporate and institutional clients with banking, lending, investing, financial planning, trust administration, portfolio management, family office and wealth transfer services. For more information, please visit


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