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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  Nyse  >  American Express Company    AXP

AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY (AXP)
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AmEx wins China approval to clear card payments

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11/09/2018 | 09:37am EST
American Express logo and trading symbol are displayed on a screen at the NYSE in New York

BEIJING (Reuters) - American Express Co on Friday won approval to clear card payments in China, making it the first U.S. card network to gain direct access to what is set to be the biggest bank card market by 2020.

The move comes months after Beijing started allowing foreign companies to apply for licenses and ahead of a G20 meeting in Argentina where the United States and China will try to resolve their trade disputes.

The preliminary approval allows the company to process and settle payments in yuan domestically by setting up its own network with its Chinese joint venture partner LianLian Group.

Rivals Visa and Mastercard have also submitted requests for licenses but are yet to get approval.

AmEx's JV, named Express (Hangzhou) Technology Services Co, is required to complete operation preparations within a year and get a nod from the central bank before running the card clearing business, the People's Bank of China said in a statement on its website.

The approval is a "significant step toward opening up China's bank card market to foreign investors", the central bank said, adding that it would continue to ease in an orderly way market access for clearing and settlement institutions.

Up until now, foreign card companies have had to partner with China's UnionPay, a state-controlled consortium that enjoyed a monopoly on all yuan payment cards issued and used in the country, for access to the country's payments network.

Foreign card companies, especially behemoths like Visa and Mastercard, have been lobbying for more than a decade for direct access to China - where the number of cards in circulation is expected to rise to 9 billion by 2020 from 6 billion in 2016, according to research firm GlobalData Plc.

UnionPay counts Visa, Mastercard, and Apple Inc among its partners for payments-related services in China.

Visa was the first to submit its application for a license in July 2017 but its request was put on hold and the company was asked to firm up its local equity partnership before resubmitting
its application, sources told Reuters last year. https://reut.rs/2AVx1Hx

Mastercard told Reuters on Friday that it would continue to remain engaged with regulators during the application process.

(Reporting by Beijing Monitoring Desk, Shu Zhang, and Aparajita Saxena; Editing by Kim Coghill, Robert Birsel and Anil D'Silva)

Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMERICAN EXPRESS COMPANY -0.46% 97.99 Delayed Quote.2.80%
APPLE 2.05% 153.07 Delayed Quote.-2.96%
MASTERCARD 0.56% 196.52 Delayed Quote.4.17%
VISA 0.18% 137.34 Delayed Quote.4.09%
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Financials ($)
Sales 2018 40 442 M
EBIT 2018 11 654 M
Net income 2018 6 355 M
Debt 2018 -
Yield 2018 1,50%
P/E ratio 2018 13,34
P/E ratio 2019 12,15
Capi. / Sales 2018 2,08x
Capi. / Sales 2019 1,93x
Capitalization 84 094 M
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Mean consensus OUTPERFORM
Number of Analysts 30
Average target price 112 $
Spread / Average Target 14%
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NameTitle
Stephen J. Squeri Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Jeffrey C. Campbell Chief Financial Officer & Executive Vice President
Marc D. Gordon Chief Information Officer & Executive VP
Charlene Barshefsky Independent Director
Peter F. Chernin Independent Director
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