Visa, MasterCard extend gains

China Visa application  

Both stocks rose after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress in a letter Tuesday that the central bank would not have a proposed rule ready by the April 21 deadline. See related Capitol Report on debit-card rules.

Industry experts estimate that new regulations would cut the fees that debit-card network operators charge retailers by up to 84%.

Banks receive some $12 billion a year from those fees.

Commenting on the delay, analysts at Keefe Bruyette & Woods told clients that, “We view the announcement as a positive for Visa and MasterCard, as a delay could be perceived as the Fed considering some alternate scenarios that may be less onerous than the initial proposals.”

“We are still in the camp that what the Fed had previously proposed was likely the worst-case scenario, and any scenarios that are less onerous than those proposed would be positive for Visa and MasterCard,” the Keefe report concluded.

Aside from Visa and MasterCard, shares of other card firms gained, too, with Discover Financial Services Inc. (DFS 24.86, -0.13, -0.50%) adding 2% and American Express Co.(AXP 45.91, +0.26, +0.57%) rising 0.6%.

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Validity of Visa
A single entry Chinese visa is valid for 3 months from the date of issue, and a double entry visa is valid for 6 months. A China visa holder must enter China before the expiration date for the visa to remain valid.
Duration of Stay
The duration of stay is specified on a Chinese visa. Chinese visa holders must not stay beyond the specified date without extending their visas. Otherwise, they will be subject to stiff penalties.