HONG KONG, March 27 (Reuters) - Credit Agricole, France's second-biggest listed bank, has become the latest foreign lender to boost its China investment banking operations with the launch of a new unit.
The new unit, Credit Agricole (Beijing) Advisory Services, focuses on cross-border merger and acquisition, encompassing purchases, disposals and capital raising, it said in a statement on Monday.
The unit which began operations on March 10 is overseen by Huai Yang as head of the operation, the bank said.
The "new strategic set-up will strengthen the bank's capabilities to connect local and international clients to investment opportunities, both inbound and outbound, presented by the world's second-largest economy", said Jean-François Deroche, the bank's senior regional officer for Asia-Pacific.
Previously, the bank served its Chinese advisory clients from its offshore base.
Some global banks are accelerating their expansion in China with the government granting a few major licences since earlier this year.
British bank Standard Chartered won approval to set up a new securities brokerage unit in January, and J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley were permitted to take full ownership in their fund units in January and February, respectively.
Reporting by Selena Li; Editing by Jacqueline Wong