China’s ICBC opens clearing bank in Russia

ICBC
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China

The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) officially launched its RMB clearing services in Moscow, the capital of Russia.

At the launching ceremony, Hu Hao, vice president of the ICBC said that the conditions of the yuan-ruble cooperation are becoming mature along with the ever strengthening of the two countries’ comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership. The launch of the RMB clearing bank will make it easier to use yuan in trade and investment between the two countries, thus enhancing the mutual cooperation in various areas, Hu added.

“The official launch of the RMB clearing bank in Russia will further improve the ICBC’s global RMB clearing network across the time zones, thus enhancing our cross-border RMB service capability and expanding the currency’s use and transaction in Russia,” he said.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) announced in September last year that it had authorized the ICBC’s Moscow office to offer RMB clearing services in Russia.

Chinese and Russian central banks signed a memorandum in June 2016 on the establishment of a RMB clearing mechanism in Russia to “facilitate the cross-border use of yuan by enterprises and financial institutions in both countries.” Amid close economic ties between the two neighbors, the Russian central bank included RMB in its foreign exchange reserves at the end of 2015.

As the world’s largest bank by assets and market cap, ICBC is the largest lender in China, and its Moscow branch represents the biggest Chinese bank in Russia.

“Financial regulatory authorities of China and Russia have signed a series of major agreements, which marks a new level of financial cooperation,” said Dmitry Skobelkin, deputy governor of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation.

“The launching of renminbi clearing services in Russia will further expand local settlement business and promote financial cooperation between the two countries,” the official added.

 

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