Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank plans to issue its first credit card in China later this year, a bank spokesperson tells CardLine Global. "Our first credit card will be issued in Shanghai, and initial customers will be from our existing debit cardholders," the spokesperson says. The bank, founded in 2005, has issued more than 3 million debit cards. Australia-based ANZ Bank bought a 19.9% stake in the bank in 2006, and that investment should help the Chinese bank in its credit card efforts, an analyst says. "One of the major strategic cooperation areas between Shanghai Rural Commercial Bank and ANZ is retail banking, of which the credit card is an important part," Wenli Yuan, a senior analyst at the China office of United States-based Celent LLC, tells CardLine Global. "The [Chinese] bank will, however, face a challenge in attracting people who already have credit cards from other banks."

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