According to a latest report, Government-run Bank of China (BOC) will start its operations in the coming months. The bank plans to expand its presence in Pakistan and help meet financing needs of CPEC projects.
BOC is not just operating in the Chinese mainland, but has presence in 50 other countries as well.
The State Bank of Pakistan chief spokesman Abid Qamar stated:
“After fulfilling all regulatory requirements and achieving operational readiness, the BOC will approach SBP for permission to commence business within a timeframe of six months from the date of issuance of its banking license. It is hoped that BOC will start its operations in Pakistan in September/October 2017.”
There are 4 foreign banks operating in Pakistan. These include Bank of Tokyo, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. According to industry officials, the presence of Chinese banks into the local market could overcome the financial needs of $57 billion worth of the many energy and infrastructure projects under CPEC.
A banker noted:
“It would pave the way for the timely completion of early harvest projects under CPEC. It’s [BOC] services can include: project and trade financing. In China, six Pakistani banks have their presence as representative offices. These banks include NBP, HBL, UBL, Bank AL-Habib, Askari Bank and Allied Bank Limited.”
HBL opened a branch at Urumqi, China in March 2017 as well. NBP is also interested in opening a branch in Beijing, China.
“The presence of Pakistani banks in China will be beneficial for bilateral investment/trade, especially in the context of CPEC.”