Huge potential for Russia-China banking co-op: Russian banker

Updated: 2012-10-24 09:54


  Print Mail Large Medium  Small 分享按钮 0

MOSCOW -- Banking cooperation between Russia and China boasts enormous potential, a Russian banker told Xinhua during a recent interview.

On the eve of his business trip to China, Andrei Donskikh, deputy head of Russia's Sberbank, said his bank has sustained long-term and close ties with a number of Chinese partners.

A crucial area of cooperation lies in the foreign trade accounting, where the volume of two-way operations amounted to $2.5 billion in 2011, Donskikh said.

Until now, all the trade-financing operations have been undertaken via US, European and other banks. Taking into account the high rating of Russian and Chinese banks, Sberbank has planned to bypass intermediators in the third countries and establish direct relations with Chinese partners.

"The road ahead here is longer and more interesting than the way already passed," he said.

During his upcoming China trip, Donskikh said, he would sign an agreement with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) about setting up credit limits and the mechanism of financing import and export operations from the two countries.

In addition, Sberbank believes it is necessary to gradually transfer the accounting operations to ruble and yuan, which will cut financial and banking service costs for Russian and Chinese clients, he said.

"Taking into consideration the stability of both ruble and yuan, we think these operations will be very efficient and will facilitate the business of our clients," Donskikh said.

As the largest commercial bank in Russia, Sberbank has maintained intensive consultations with Chinese banks in supporting Russian clients working in China and Chinese companies seeking opportunities in Russia, Donskikh said.

Sberbank has recently opened an office in Beijing to research the Chinese market. Once Sberbank receives permission from Chinese regulators, it will open its branch in China, Donskikh added.

According to Donskikh, after the 2008 financial meltdown, the global banking landscape has changed dramatically, with banks from the emerging countries, mostly from China, Russia and Brazil, having come to the frontline.

"Obviously, that pushes us to forge more thorough cooperation with Chinese banks which hold the leading positions in the world, and to look for new fields of cooperation, new opportunities in the changing global economy," he said.

Meanwhile, Sberbank is interested in learning from Chinese partners in structuring deals of financing construction projects such as roads, airports, housing and communal infrastructure, Donskikh said.