Rus­sian lender looks to cater for Chi­nese cor­po­rate clien­tele

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By MENG FANBIN meng­fan­bin@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A lead­ing Rus­sian bank is look­ing to de­velop its busi­ness in China as part of the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive.

Otkri­tie FC Bank, which is the fourth largest lender in Rus­sia, is plan­ning to ex­pand its wealth­man­age­ment op­er­a­tion and fi­nanc­ing prod­ucts to cater for Chi­nese cor­po­rate clients.

“We are look­ing for­ward to co­op­er­at­ing with Chi­nese banks,” said Evgeny Danke­vich, chair­man of the man­age­ment board at Otkri­tie FC Bank.

“This es­pe­cially ap­plies to the pre­cious met­als sec­tor, the wealth-man­age­ment busi­ness and fi­nanc­ing op­er­a­tions for Chi­nese cus­tomers,” he added.

Founded in 1993, Otkri­tie is the largest pri­vate bank in Rus­sia and ranks among the world’s top 350 lenders.

It mainly caters for cor­po­rate clients and in­vest­ment bank­ing, re­tail busi­nesses and small and medium-sized en­ter­prises as well as pri­vate bank­ing.

Otkri­tie is also the largest Rus­sian fi­nan­cial group by as­sets, worth 3.3 tril­lion Rus­sian rou­bles ($50.6 bil­lion). The bank also em­ploys 20,000 staff and has four mil­lion cus­tomers.

“I think the Belt and Road Ini­tia­tive will pro­mote the de­vel­op­ment of pre­cious met­als and pro­vide us with more op­por­tu­ni­ties,” Danke­vich said.

“We have been in­volved in pre­cious met­als for more than 20 years,” he added. “It is mainly gold and we are very ex­pe­ri­enced in the sec­tor.”

Last year, Otkri­tie be­came the first Rus­sian mem­ber of the Shang­hai Gold Ex­change, China’s only mar­ket for trad­ing in the pre­cious metal.

So far, it has sold 4.2 met­ric tons of gold, worth $170 mil­lion, on the SGE, ac­cord­ing to fig­ures re­leased by the bank.

SGE pro­vides trad­ing, clear­ing, de­liv­ery and stor­ing ser­vices of gold, sil­ver and plat­inum.

“We hope to find some re­li­able bank­ing part­ners to work to­geth-

We have in­vest­ment projects in many coun­tries, and we are will­ing to in­vest in China ...” Evgeny Danke­vich, chair­man of the man­age­ment board at Otkri­tie FC Bank

met­ric tons

gold sold by Otkri­tie FC Bank on the Shang­hai Gold Ex­change since it joined last year

er in the pre­cious met­als busi­ness, which is prof­itable and has promis­ing prospects,” Danke­vich said. “Otkri­tie is the best Rus­sian part­ner in the sec­tor.

“Our bank is the largest in Rus­sia when it comes to deal­ing with pre­cious met­als, and ac­counts for a third of mined gold in the coun­try,” he added.

Rus­sia has the sec­ond largest gold re­serves in world af­ter South Africa, with 12,500 tons, or 400 mil­lion ounces, ac­cord­ing to the Rus­sian Min­istry of Nat­u­ral Re­sources.

“As a mat­ter of fact, we have been work­ing to­gether with some large banks in China, such as In­dus­trial and Com­mer­cial Bank of China, China Con­struc­tion Bank, and Harbin Bank, in busi­nesses such as in­ter­bank de­posits and set­tle­ment,” Danke­vich said.

The Rus­sian lender also has branches in Hong Kong, Lon­don, New York and Nicosia, cap­i­tal of Cyprus, and has co­op­er­ated with global banks such as Citibank.

“We have in­vest­ment projects in many coun­tries, and we are will­ing to in­vest in China, if we can find an op­por­tu­nity and re­li­able part­ners,” Danke­vich said.

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