Yuan backed on Silk Road

Updated: 2015-03-26 11:29

By Jiang Xueqing in Bejing(China Daily USA)

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Bank of China Ltd will promote wider use of renminbi in countries and regions along the New Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.

"Our target is to extend credit of no less than $20 billion to projects related to the Belt and Road initiatives in 2015 and a total of $100 billion in the next three years," bank Chairman Tian Guoli said Wednesday

By the end of 2014, the bank had established branches in 15 countries along the Belt and Road program. It is preparing for the launch of branches in three more countries and will set up more branches in the regions of Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and Central and Eastern Europe.

"We will closely follow the steps of key industries such as high-speed railways and

nuclear power as they are going global and promote export credit, project finance and structured finance with all our strength," Tian said.

The bank will add renminbi clearing channels, promote the use of the currency in major overseas projects, and expand the volume of renminbi loans while it continues to issue offshore yuan-denominated bonds.

"Overseas assets accounted for nearly 30 percent of Bank of China's total assets," said a Shenzhen-based banking analyst who declined to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media. "Compared with other banks, it has more advantages in promoting the use of renminbi and providing financial services to the Belt and Road initiatives. As a large State-owned bank, it will also have more convenience to coordinate with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Silk Road Fund.

Bank of China, in annual results on Wednesday, actively developed overseas

businesses and international operations. Its overseas profit before tax was $8.66 billion in 2014, an increase of nearly 30% year over year.

The bank's cross-border yuan settlement reached 5.32 trillion yuan ($856.38 billion), up by 33.7 percent.