Bank Leumi is preparing to open a representative office in Shanghai, Globes reported.
The bank, headed by president and CEO Rakefet Russak-Aminoach, has appointed Eyal Shimoni to head the office, who will oversee developments and obtain necessary permits.
"As we have announced before, Bank Leumi reviews options and is seeking to expand its operations in the Far East in general, and in China in particular,” Bank Leumi said in a statement. “This activity requires permits from the relevant Chinese regulators. If and when the permits to allow the activity are obtained, we will announce it as required."
While the bank has branches in the US, UK, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Romania, and representatives worldwide, its presence in the Far East is fairly limited, with only one representative office in Hong Kong.
"As activity in the Far East increases, Bank Leumi will increase its coverage of this part of the world in order to continue to service its customers," chairman David Brodet told the Israel Business Conference two years ago.
Brodet announced that the representative office in Shanghai is part of the global banking trend to expand operations in the Far East.
The bank's foreign operations generated $47.5 million in profits in 2011.