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Chinese bank CMB opens branch in S'pore
Publication Date : 06-03-2014
China Merchants Bank (CMB) has officially opened its Singapore branch, making it the seventh Chinese bank with a presence here.
CMB, which operates as a wholesale bank in Singapore, has its branch on the 32nd floor of One Raffles Place.
It has 25 staff members in Singapore but plans to raise the number to 35 by the end of the year, a company spokesman said.
The bank was granted a licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore in November last year.
Speaking at the opening ceremony yesterday, CMB president Tian Huiyu said the bank decided to open a branch here because of growing China-Singapore trade and the internationalisation of the yuan.
Singapore was designated as an offshore clearing hub for the yuan last year, becoming the first such centre outside greater China as the economic giant moved to internationalise its currency.
Chinese Ambassador Duan Jielong noted that Singapore and China have strong trade links.
Last year, China was Singapore's biggest trade partner.
Bilateral investment is growing rapidly, he said. Singapore is China's biggest source of foreign direct investment and Singapore is China's seventh-largest outbound investment destination.
China's financial institutions have been actively expanding their business in Singapore in recent years, he added.
Apart from issuing loans and providing trade finance, many have rolled out cross-border yuan services, helping Singapore develop itself as an offshore yuan centre.
Since November, CMB has provided US$500 million of trade finance and bilateral loans to more than 10 clients, the bank said.
In total, it now has assets of more than US$900 million and 26 client accounts in Singapore.
CMB was established in China in 1987 and is the sixth-largest bank in China with total assets of 4 trillion yuan (US$650 billion).