Bank of Montreal, which announced last week that it has purchased the North American operations of online broker CSFBdirect, is currently vying against six other companies for a license to sell mutual funds in China.

Bank of Montreal hopes to strike a joint venture with a Beijing securities firm called Fullgoal. China’s entry to the World Trade Organization opens the door to such joint ventures, but the Chinese government is limiting the number of foreign companies that can strike joint ventures with Chinese firms in the newly liberalized market.

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