Bank of China starts operations in Pakistan

Islamabad: The Bank of China (BoC) has been allowed to commence banking operations  in the country, said the State Bank on Monday. This is the second Chinese bank which has been allowed to operate in Pakistan.

According to the SBP statement, the Bank of China aims to provide specialised banking services to serve the financing needs of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) related projects by leveraging on its experience and global technology platform. Earlier in May, the State Bank had issued a licence to BoC in Pakistan.

The BoC has complied with the important regulatory and operational requirements necessary to commence banking business in Pakistan. The BoC is a subsidiary of China Central Huijin, the investment arm of the Government of China.

The BoC is the 4th and 5th largest global bank in terms of tier-1 capital and total assets, respectively. It is listed on the Shanghai Stock Exchange and the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. Globally, the footprint of BoC is spread across 50 countries out of which 19 are located across China’s One Belt One Road initiative.

“The BoC’s entry into Pakistan will not only further strengthen the bilateral relationship of Pakistan and China but will also represent growing confidence of international investors on the country’s banking sector and the stable economic outlook,” said the SBP.

Earlier, the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) opened two branches in Karachi and Islamabad on May 20, 2011. The ICBC provides various services including corporate finance, investment banking, foreign deposits, project loans, and working capital loans.

Habib Bank Limited is the first Pakistani bank which has recently opened a branch in the industrial city of Urumqi, China.

Increasing bilateral trade requires banking services between the two countries. China is now the biggest trade partner of Pakistan while the trade volume has been increasing rapidly each year.

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