Banking on the success of Belt and Road
Company’s international connections have put it in an ideal position to finance projects on trade routes
banks that can facilitate trade, capital and investment flows across the Belt and Road markets.
“With our unique network, more than two-thirds of our global footprint overlaps with the Belt and Road destination countries, and we have a long history of supporting clients across these trade and investment corridors,” he says.
Last year, Standard Chartered announced that it would spend $20 billion to finance projects along the Belt and Road routes by 2020.
“So far, Standard Chartered has been involved in 50 large transactions related to the Belt and Road Initiative — 50 percent of the deals, worth $10 billion, were made in Africa, 25 percent in South Asia and the rest are across the Belt and Road footprint,” he says.
Manjang says the bank will support Chinese clients along the Belt and Road routes as well as helping its destination market clients to seize opportunities resulting from the initiative.
“Our commitment to facilitating Belt and Road financing will be as an intermediary and service provider across a full range of lending, financial markets, transaction banking, capital markets and project finance activities,” he says.
The financial support will cover loans and the financial market and transactional banking capital market as well as project financing.
Meanwhile, Manjang says Standard Chartered Kenya is attracting a significant number of Chinese clients as investors from the country continue to flock to the East African country.
“The Chinese section of Standard Chartered Kenya is one of the fastestgrowing segments, and this is a reflection of growing China-Kenya trade and investment growth. Standard Chartered is uniquely placed to support that trade and investment,” he says.
Manjang says Standard Chartered offers a number of products to its Chinese clients, such as facilitating capital requirements when they want to import materials from China. This is in addition to supporting them with term loans to finance capital spending when they want to put up a plant or buy new equipment to expand capacity.
The bank also offers trade products like letters of credit, performance bonds and guarantees. This is in addition to foreign exchange when they want to buy goods from China.
“One very interesting aspect is our ability to finance trade through the Chinese renminbi. We are one of the few banks that can support trade directly using RMB as a currency for settlement,” Manjang says.
Standard Chartered’s outstanding loans in East Africa amount to $3.4 billion. As such, the bank’s share of total outstanding domestic credit is 7 percent in Kenya, 9 percent in Tanzania and 26 percent in Uganda.
Given the bank’s 150-year history in many countries in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, Manjang says it has been involved in supporting Chinese enterprises “going out” for decades. This is in addition to playing a crucial role in terms of fostering China-Africa trade.
Standard Chartered operates a network of more than 1,200 branches and outlets, including subsidiaries, associates and joint ventures, and employs around 87,000 people. The bank’s revenue in 2016 hit $14.1 billion, while total assets stood at $646.7 billion.
Standard Chartered PLC is listed on the London and Hong Kong stock exchanges, as well as the Bombay and National stock exchanges in India.
Apart from Standard Chartered, Citigroup Inc, a US banking and financial services corporation, and HSBC Holdings PLC, a British multinational investment banking and financial services corporation, have also been seizing the opportunities brought about by the Belt and Road Intiative.