Chinese & foreign banks & ECAs bolster Belt & Road Initiative

(China Daily, Beijing, 11 April 2023) Some of China's large State-owned commercial banks and foreign lenders have continuously consolidated the Belt and Road Initiative and expanded into new areas of business to align with China's new development pattern and advance the country's high-level opening up. As of the end of last year, the bank had followed up on more than 900 corporate credit granting projects in BRI-involved countries and regions, with total credit exceeding $269 billion. Between 2015 and 2019, BOC issued five series of BRI-themed bonds in seven currencies. The total amount was equivalent to $14.5 billion. China Construction Bank, as of the end of last year, had supported 342 projects in 60 BRI countries and regions, with a total financing quota of more than $50 billion. In addition, the outstanding balance of its international business guarantees reached $17 billion, covering projects in 112 BRI countries and regions. Standard Chartered, a UK-based international banking group, has extensive cooperation with domestic financial institutions and corporate clients in BRI countries and regions, said Jerry Zhang, executive vice-chairman and CEO of Standard Chartered Bank (China) Ltd, the group's local subsidiary. Standard Chartered participated in a large solar power project in the Middle East. The contractors concerned were Chinese companies. While some of the financing was provided by the Export-Import Bank of China and the China Development Bank, European manufacturers also contributed to the project, which involved multilateral development banks, such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the African Development Bank.