Bank of China to begin operations in Pakistan allows State Bank of Pakistan

Pakistan's central bank has allowed the Bank of China to start its operations.

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Bank of China to begin operations in Pakistan allows State Bank of Pakistan

Pakistan's central bank has allowed the government-owned Bank of China to begin operations in the country, amid Beijing's push to step up investments under the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

In a notification, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Monday that Bank of China Limited has been declared as a scheduled bank with effect from September 18.

The SBP had issued banking licence to Bank of China in May 2017. The Beijing-based bank has complied with important regulatory and operational requirements of the SBP necessary to commence banking business in Pakistan.

The bank will initially bring USD 50 million to fulfill the Minimum Capital Requirements, the SBP had said in May.

"The long term objective of the Bank of China is to increase its market penetration by opening branches in major cities of Pakistan aiming to be one of the largest foreign banks in Pakistan," it had said.

The Bank of China is the second Chinese bank to commence operations in Pakistan. The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China has been operating in the country since 2011.

In Pakistan, the Bank of China aims to provide specialised banking services to meet financing needs of projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) by leveraging on its experience and global technology platform, the SBP had said.

The CPEC is billed as a game-changer and manifestation of the all-weather strategic partnership between Pakistan and China.

The CPEC initiative is a mega network of roads, rail links, power plants and other infrastructure connecting western China's restive Xinjiang province to the strategic southern port of Gwadar in Pakistan's Balochistan province.

The Bank of China's presence will not only strengthen bilateral relationship between Pakistan and China, but it will also represent growing confidence of international investors in the country's banking sector and its stable economic outlook, the Pakistani central bank had said. 

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