RETAIL BANKING | Staff Reporter, China

China, Russia enhance inter-bank cooperation

Two top banks enter into agreement worth up to US$2 billion.

China Development Bank and Sberbank Rossii or the Savings Bank of the Russian Federation have signed an agreement that will advance financial cooperation between both countries.

The signing ceremony took place during the recent 16th meeting of the Joint Commission for the Regular Meetings of Heads of Government of China and Russia co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin.

Under the five-year accord, CDB and Sberbank will cooperate in financing Russia's large-scale government projects and infrastructure projects, international settlement and trade financing, correspondent banking, custody services, personnel training and experience exchanges that have a total value of some US$2 billion.

The agreement gives priority to Chinese-funded projects in oil and gas, electricity, infrastructure, metal mining, telecommunications, agriculture and forestry.

The two banks will provide these projects with comprehensive credit lines, syndicated loans, finance, leasing and investment banking services.

With headquarters in Moscow, Sberbank is the largest bank in Russia and Eastern Europe, and the third largest in Europe. It had total assets of US$319 billion in 2011. China Development Bank is one of China’s three policy banks, and is primarily responsible for raising funding for large infrastructure projects.

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