MADRID Jan 13 Spain's Santander has
received Chinese regulatory approval to operate as an
independent car financing company, one of the first foreign
banks to get a car finance licence in the world's largest auto
Santander will operate through its Fortune joint venture,
set up in December 2011, in a 50-50 tie-up between its consumer
finance unit and China's seventh biggest car manufacturer,
Jianghuai Auto (JAC), the bank said on Sunday.
Fortune Auto Finance will have initial capital of 500
million yuan ($80.4 million). Its loans will not be restricted
to JAC's products.
China is the world's largest market for cars, with an
estimated 19 million cars sold in 2012, compared to around 14
million in the United States, and double-digit growth expected
to continue in coming years.
($1 = 6.2161 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting By Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Paul Day and Catherine