Bank­ing on the suc­cess of Belt and Road

China Daily European Weekly - - BUSINESS -

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.

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